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Just the TIPS of the iceberg?

When I heard about the US Government's TIPS program this morning, I nearly choked on my breakfast. I've been struggling with my outrage and astonishment at this program all day, trying to compose myself long enough to write about it, but my friend Tom Tomorrow has managed to put into words exactly what I am feeling, far more eloquently than I ever could, so I'll freely steal it from him:

"Facism is a term thrown about too freely, and I don't believe we're at a point that its use is justified--but an oppressive and intrusive government, however you want to label it, does not ride into town wearing the uniforms and waving the flags of recognizable evil. It creeps in slowly, wrapped in the flag of your own country, and speaking the language of patriotism and duty, and at each step along the way, its actions seem plausible and defensible--until one morning you wake up and realize the gulf between the way things were and the way things are has grown so wide that there is no going back. Sinclair Lewis tried to point this out more than a half century ago, and given the current climate, It Can't Happen Here is well worth re-reading (or reading for the first time, if you've never come across it before)."

Comments

I know that, working as a lawyer, the Patriot Act gives broad discretionary power to the government to ferret out bundles of private information on citizens *without probable cause*. This is an extension...and I agree, a very scary one.

Wil,

sounds like another typical way that our political system justifies doing something very scary-typical but scary. Glad to hear from you again today hope ya post again tomorrow, your posts really make my day. Have a good evening and a great tomorrow. Try not to let our "wonderful" government upset you to much.

Matt.

My question is: Why? I mean are we really that paranoid now?

*sighs*

I'm speechless. This can't be serious!

Another recommendation for reading is "The Ominous Parallels" by Dr. Leonard Peikoff.

That is just so beyond words scary. How on earth did this guy get voted into office?? Oh wait, now I remember, he didn't.

Many have argued for complacency in the face of the government's new policies and actions since September 11, 2001. They claim that those of us who fear for the loss of those liberties upon which the United States was founded are being paranoid, fear-mongers, or outright fools.

At times, a small bit of that complacency rubs off on us, and we begin to feel comfortable within our new, smaller cages, imagining that the government, perhaps, believes it has gone far enough.

Then we see something like the article Mr. Wheaton (SIR!) has linked today, and we cannot help but feel a chill as the walls of our shrinking cages grow ever closer, and know that we are justified to fear the complete loss of personal freedom in modern-day america.

From article on Tips Wil linked to:
"Highlighting the scope of the surveillance network, TIPS volunteers are being recruited primarily from among those whose work provides access to homes, businesses or transport systems. Letter carriers, utility employees, truck drivers and train conductors are among those named as targeted recruits."

Holy Moly!
They'll get us when we're sitting on the couch
They'll get us when we're sitting on the bus

These people don't stop.
Things like this happens everday and people wonder why I'm against the government and their agencies.

I wonder what they will call this McCarthyism of the early 21st century? The "Brown Scare"?

First of all, I agree that the TIPS program is over the top. That said, the Neighborhood Watch Program has been in existence for 30 years with little protest. I grew up in an area with a Neighborhood Watch Program and I cannot think of one negative impact on my life. Are these programs different. Yes, to some extent, but see if this statement covers the main point of both programs:

"The program is a collaboration between private citizens and law enforcement, through which citizens are given the means to contact law enforcement if they see activity they deem suspicous."

Seems to fit both programs nicely. What is my point? Well I think TIPS program at the federal level with a database to track all suspicious activity not warranted at this point. However, the Neighborhood Watch Program has been beneficial for communities for quite some time. Please realize that it is important to have a balance between personal freedom and the ability of the government (local or federal) to perserve our freedom. At some point in the future a TIPS program may be warranted. Ex: What happens if we start having suicide bombers in the US as a regular occurence. Would you want a TIPS program then?

In regards to the TIPS program, if you're against it, don't run around proclaiming that the Bush is trying to implement a dictatorship. Call/write your representatives, let your friends and family know about the program and the possible negative impacts on them. It is still a pilot program so you have the ability to influence whether it becomes a reality. Enough said.

scary

Well. I hope to FUCK this one is alarmist. If its alarmist then it might not be as bad as it sounds.

Either that, or you guys might have to learn how to say "Heil Bush", and goosestep.

Civil Liberties are there for a reason.

The Salem Witch Trials were real.

So was MacCarthyism.

Dont let that braindead muppet take away the things that make you better than slaves.

Oh shut up Wil. It's a crappy idea, but don't get yer damn panties in a knot. We're not all gonna die.

This is really scary. I'm half tempted to try to join just so I'm not on the business end of this. Unbelievable... We'll never know who's listening, waiting to report our unpatriotic sentiments to Uncle Sam. This is wrong.

Er.. I mean... What a great idea!! Thanks for looking out for us Uncle George! Boy, I sure feel safer now that all the unpatriotic, non-Christian, liberal, homosexual, evil-doers of the world won't be able to hurt us anymore!!

Sigh. Another alarmist situation. Why is this so wrong? I live in a middle eastern meighborhood and if I see someone throwing out 40 empty fertilizer bags, you better believe I will call the FBI and give a tip. People shocked by tips are just self-important orwellian alarmists who like to feel important about "taking a stand". Stop believing so much in the image of a program and how it relates to "1984" and more for the good it can do in preventing future attacks.

Impeachment would be such a welcome term right about now!

Well, now you're missing the point. It's one thing to encourage neighbors to keep an eye out for something unusual, and it's quite another to give permission (nay, a mandate!) to an entire segment of the population to actively spy on those they service. It's creepy, is what it is, and it will undoubtedly encourage zealous and dangerous responses in a way that simply being alert could never do.

I'm beginning to lose my love of Cold War novels.
-le sigh-

emmmm, this dont sound to good, and i'm from London, but hey, to me the Government, all Governments are as one, one controlling force, we see only what they want us to see.
Be carful out there people!
sean.

Geeze, you guys sound like McCarthyism reversed. I don't know what's worse, some of Bush and Ashcroft's policies or having to listen to these outrageous conclusions that some of you come up with. To suggest that George W. Bush is going to somehow overthrow the America government considering how our system works is just asinine. Maybe he'll unleash his secret army of spider monkeys they've been genetically breeding under the Washington Monument.

Fans of Babylon 5 have been reminded of "NightWatch" even since they mentioned the Office of Homeland Security (heck, it started with 'Shadow Government'.)

No, I heartily recommend taking a look at the President Clark subplot for eerie parallels.

Thanks to my marriage last August, I'm in the process of becoming a landed immigrant in Canada. As a result, my shock at the recent actions of the US gov't. is coupled with both sadness, and a small bit of thankfulness that I'm here instead of there currently.

It's sad when one has to live in a socialist country to have peace of mind, eh?

Talk about over-reaction! Can you think of a better idea? Of course there will need to be checks and balances, but I believe that it is really a good idea.

So did everyone here feel as strongly about neighborhood watches? Essentially, that is what you would have here, but on a much larger scale.

While I don't find the current state of our nation too great, I do find comfort that there are people wanting to make a positive contribution.

Regardless if you are conservative or liberal, it is clear we need to do something.

Just my 2 cents....

This just makes me glad I'm a Canadian.

Sinkerhawk said:

>> I don't know what's worse, some of Bush and Ashcroft's policies or having to listen to these outrageous conclusions that some of you come up with.

Imo go out on a limb and say... um... the first one.

>> To suggest that George W. Bush is going to somehow overthrow the America government considering how our system works is just asinine.

Uh.

Uh.

Um.

Hold up.

Um.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Um.

>> Maybe he'll unleash his secret army of spider monkeys they've been genetically breeding under the Washington Monument.

Or maybe he'll blow his load on an intern's dress and this will give corporate America a green light to commit fraud.

Nutty.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

REQUIRED reading if you want to know what is really going on:

En Route to Global Occupation
Gary Kah
http://www.garykah.org/html/hftwb.html

Behold a Pale Horse
(Milton) William Cooper
http://www.williamcooper.com/

Just one thing to say....

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

— Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Josiah Quincy, Sept. 11, 1773.

Heh...Notice the date of the letter...freaky, aint it?

You know, I cannot really formulate an official opinion b/c I can see it both ways. On one hand, we really must keep watch for terrorism and such as much as we can. Then, on the other hand, we don't wanna go too far. I mean, when the plumber comes to fix a leak, I don't want him to be checking out my home and such installing little cameras or something. And searching unbeknownst to us? Isn't there something in the Constitution about not being able to search without a warrant? Almost too much secrecy.. I just don't know. There somehow needs to come about a healthy as possible balance between watching for terrorism, yet at at the same time not taking away privacies and certain civil liberties, etc. But that is hard to do with such a diversified culture. Also, what about if you cannot trust these "spies?" Embellishment and maybe even lying is a definite possibility. I mean, what if one of the spies happen to be a terrorist themself? An extreme case but real nonetheless. Too many "what-if" situations and such. *sigh* There needs to be a balance....

. . Somehow, all those crazy people with the tinfoil hats and underwear suddenly seem to make some sense . .

Both Bryan and Kimberley get the WWDN gold star tonight for reusing that tired old Ben Franklin quote for the 1,000,000 time. Do people think they are clever or wise when they spit that quote out?

I base my opinions on realistic views and a comparision with the rest of the world's nations. Too many here base it on some utopian ideal, much like Franklin. Only he could afford to be an idealist since he was there when America was just beginning. We have come far in the past 225 years, in fact we are the world's superpower. There are many more issues and concerns that make it impossible to see things as black and white as Franklin did.

Take a step back, a deep breath, and think things through as a realist.

"There's a COMMIE under my BED!!...There's a Commie under my bed!!".....oh wait that was Ronald Reagon. "Theres a Terrorist under my bed!!" G W. Bushy

One more...

"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one"

— President Thomas Jefferson

Oh, and Bush planned to attack Afghanistan even BEFORE September 11th...here's proof:

Dated June 26, 2001 - http://www.indiareacts.com/archivefeatures/nat2.asp?recno=10&ctg=

From the BBC:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1550000/1550366.stm

I just love some of the links you guys are providing. I'm suprised I haven't seen a link to the National Enquirer or to Star magazine yet. Why not link some well known and respected websites that base their stories on fact and reality.

Let the conspiracies fly baby. Let em fly. I'm sorry if I believe our government actually has little power over what I do. Yeah I know there are laws and junk.

Bush is the anti-christ people. And this nation is going to hell so damn fast you won't be able to spell America before it does.

I'm still damn proud to be living here. Wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

LOL!! I'm sorry. I understand everyone has their theories on things but I just don't think our government is out to get us and destroy us.

It seems like we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we sit back and do nothing we are like all the people throughout history who got royally screwed, who said "Oh, that'll never happen to us." But the opposite end of the spectrum (are you listening all you TIPsters...) smacks of McCarthyism. What to do, what to do? If it's a witch hunt Bush wants, he'll probably get it. After all, he's in the White House, isn't he?
God help us, every one...

and hide your kindling...

If I may:

"Now we all agree with Hitlers' views,
Although he killed six million Jews.
It don't matter too much that he was a Fascist,
At least you can't say he was a Communist!
That's to say like if you got a cold you take a shot of malaria.

Well, I wus lookin' everywhere for them gol-darned Reds.
I got up in the mornin' 'n' looked under my bed,
Looked in the sink, behind the door,
Looked in the glove compartment of my car.
Couldn't find 'em . . .

I wus lookin' high an' low for them Reds everywhere,
I wus lookin' in the sink an' underneath the chair.
I looked way up my chimney hole,
I even looked deep inside my toilet bowl.
They got away . . . "
-Bob Dylan, Talkin John Birch Paranoid Blues

1st: I hardly think the BBC is in the same ranks as the National Enquirer or the Star

2nd: Read It Can't Happen Here. Also, read 1984 (someone sent it to everyone on the Hill, and probably in the administration, today).

3rd: I understand that our acceptance of security changes with the times; unlike in 1960, you couldn’t carry a handgun onto a plane, even in 1990.

4th: Citizen informant networks (i.e. the Stasi) are inordinately ineffective.

5th: I really am scared at the Bush Administration's potential to become a quasi-totalitarian regime.

Uh, a little info on Franklin's comment regarding liberty and safety - it's from the Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759 (and was used even earlier in the Revolutionary period).

Second, people preaching this end-times New World Order stuff - get a grip. Christians have been predicting the rise of the Anti-Christ for going on 2000 years - either he's not coming, or he's being really really fashionably late. I'll take my chance on his being a no-show... feel free to camp out in the hills with your guns and child brides if you feel otherwise. ;)

The TIPS program, as described in the actual government site (as opposed to the fear-mongering article), doesn't strike me as all that scary. Having a clearinghouse that can route information to the appropriate authorities makes a lot more sense than calling the local police, who then call the local police HQ, who then call the state bureau of investigation, who then call the FBI, who then decide to bring in the NSA... meanwhile, the "suspicious" guy ends up blowing up a nightclub that evening.

There IS a middle ground on this slippery slope that will require caution and vigilance from all of us to keep our government in check (not that we could do much about it, but still). To automatically stand on the rooftops and proclaim every security measure as Orwellian - end of story - is to be intellectually and civically lazy.

Let's do something about it:

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/TIPS/petition.html

And click my Homepage Link to join an Online Group to discuss this further.

scary stuff! Makes those of us who live on the fringe very nervous! Don't want my neighbors turning me in for not vaccinating my child, or breastfeeding "too long" or for *gasp* being an atheist....damn bush and his cronies!

The road to hell is paved with Republicans!

OK, let me see if I got this right. I hear of a plot against us. These people want to take the lives of more of our men, women and Children. So I shouldn't notify the FBI because the plotters have civil rights. Is there something in California's water???

At least Bush hasn't pulled an FDR and interred all the Muslims. Next time you see Takei, ask him how that felt.

To the new Canadian up there a few comments back, first of all, welcome to Canada, but secondly, this is not a socialist country (as you said). I only wish it were, but sadly it is very much like the one you are leaving, so please take care. We are so sure of our rights and freedoms here, that we forget to even check if our government is protecting them and us.

To get back on topic, the TIPS program does sound suspiciously 1936 to me...no one expects their own country to become corrupt...that 's how it happens.

Yes, yes, and no ever expects the Spanish Inquisition either.

Also - for the Brits on board who are griping about this, might I suggest you look at what your own government is proposing to do to the legal system. Perhaps you guys should consider actually having your rights written down somewhere... just a thought.

Don't worry, Wil, I've been telling them all about you, and you're still ok, aren't you?

Seriously, I wonder why the hell this extreme action is being taken. What's the motivation here? The Excited States, indeed.

It's just like the TNG episode, "The Drumhead"...McCarthy would be proud.

I should have added that most of my post earlier was sarcaism.

Wow, Bart.

You're a genius.

That's EXACTLY what is happening.

I'm relieved that you're "with us."

wilwheaton's good friends with Tom Tomorrow? that explains so very much. wilwheaton, you are one SCARY dude!!

Neighborhood Watch was about old ladies and other stay at homes having nothing better to do than peek out their window at suspicious cars carrying possible chesters.

This mess is entirely different and it didn't start with 9/11, it started with that coup...er, I mean election that put this puppet into office.

kman go back to kmart. you liberal nut!!

First of all, I'd like to say hello to everyone at the Justice Department...
Why are we so willing to hand over our rights and privacy to a government led by men who aren't even willing to make accurate accounting of their business dealings?
These guys are crooks, and not even in the Nixonian sense. Tricky Dick was a megalomaniac who saw enemies everywhere, but this current batch makes him look like a well-adjusted human being, and that is no easy task. The men in charge have frequently worked around the system of checks and balances, or just ignored it. They are thieves, emboldened more than anything by their obnoxious sense of entitlement.
But what am I saying? There is still plenty of Afghan rubble to blow up. All hail the War On Terror, and the stupefying approval ratings it brings!
Wake up. Please, I am begging you to wake up. It's later than you think...

Hey sims, watch-out the sky is falling!!

gee, I wonder who is watchig this web site and reading all of theses "subversive" comments...???

watch out everyone.. ya just never know who will
turn you in.

Wil + everyone...

has anyone seen a movie that came out a few months ago...
STAR WARS II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES ?

then you have seen how the evil Senator has set up
everything for what he wants.. how he has blinded the Jedi and others to carry out his evil ways..

now, I know it is just a story.. but sometimes
history repeats itself... think back.. look at how Hitler set things up.. learn from it.. but
do not panic.. and as a refresher thought;

as Wil should know with his history in
"anti-matter", anti, means "against" in simple
terms.. anti-"matter" doesn't mix safely with
"matter" "anti-Christ" is anything..
"anti-Christain" which can be anything...
a man, a women, child, system, government and
yes, any religious order that stands against what
Christ stood for, his Fathers system, or "Kingdom"

just remember; "powerful the Dark side is"

may the "Force" be with you all, always.

Higher percentage of the population than the Stasi? Now, that's something America should really struggle to achieve.

here is an interesting quote;

"Fascism is capitalism in decay."
-Lenin (Vladimir Ulyanov)

You know what I hope?

I hope that this silly little TIPS program is totally ignored.

Utterly.

Completely.

THAT would make me happy, and with any luck, it'll happen.

The Washington Post's pretty pissed about the whole affair http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63924-2002Jul12.html

And www.aclu.org aren't too chuffed either.

Yeah, this is scary. Read Ann Coulter's book "Slander", and find out why!

Wil, I didn't realize you are a member of the vast leftwing conspiracy. Tom Tomorrow, is a NUT. Why can't you express your own ideas without copying and pasting someone elses neurotic rants. This is just leftist-socialist-commie pablum being spewed from every feted orifice.
This TIPS plan seems perfectly logical to me, report if you see someone watching a powerplant, or following pilots. Get real this is a good idea. Comparing this to the Stasi, is a vapid attemt to demonize Bush. I guess you guys are just upset that the CIA and Social Security system (that Democrats created - Truman and FDR), don't keep enough info on US citizens. Think about it, the Stasi kept a file on every East German citizen, the Social Security system does the same thing. The Tips system is nothing like that. It is just a forum for people to report illegal and suspicious activity.
(Look up info about Truman, he was more like Hitler than Bush will EVER be. Radiation and blast tests on soldiers, old women, kids and babies. In one incident a radioactive cloud went over a school in Nevada. Every student, teacher and staff was killed in a slow agonizing death. When a mother of a dead boy wrote Truman and asked, "Why?"; he responded with "The loss of your son was a small price to pay for the defense of your nation." Tell me what is worse, Truman and the tests or Bush and his detention of criminals - yes illegals are commiting a crime. You liberals ALWAYS support the guilty over the BLOOD of the innocent. Why should 9-11 be any different. Clear the world of murders, drug dealers and other scum and the world would be a much better place.)
I guess the majority of people here at pro-terror central, would like everyone to ignore a guy stealing identification, or photographing personnel at the airport. Increadibly NUTS you people certainly are, indeed!
Oh, did you know that Clinton pees in the sink. I just think its funny, what a lazy prick he is.
Did you think Clinton was right or wrong for bombing and occuping Yugoslavia? Oh yeah, you support terrorism, so I guess you did!

NEVER FORGET!!
NEVER AGAIN!!

I don't know what Clinton's urinationn ahs to do with this.

The prblem is when do they report? When people are watching (i.e. looking at) a powerplant? That makes them terrorists?
Germany let Hitler do all these things, too. The Reichstag was blown in a terrorist attack. The country's economy was in decline. Hitler had informants, as well.
The Stasi worked that way, too.
Imagine someone insulting a bus driver. An hour later, he is known to the FBI as suspect.
Neighborhoods, watch out.

Here is a paragraph from the Washington Post article:

"Public vigilance is a good thing, and so is encouraging citizens to alert authorities to terrorist activity. It makes sense to educate people who work at potential targets or at places where lethal cargo may be smuggled. But having the government recruit informants among letter carriers and utility workers -- people who enter the homes of Americans for reasons unrelated to law enforcement -- is an entirely different matter. Americans should not be subjecting themselves to law enforcement scrutiny merely by having cable lines installed, mail delivered or meters read. Police cannot routinely enter people's houses without either permission or a warrant. They should not be using utility workers to conduct surveillance they could not lawfully conduct themselves."

While I agree with this statement in general, does this mean that if a cable installer enters a home and finds evidence of kidnapping, bomb making, or murder, he should just ignore it. That is ludicrous. The police and FBI are not going to bust down someone's door if a mailman tells them there is a joint in the bedroom.

Some of you are making the claim that this system will be used to turn in someone just because they blink too fast or they are atheists. Do you think these claims would stand up in court? Are police and the FBI arresting people now because of their religious beliefs?

Personally, I think all of this stems from the fact that some people hate Bush with such extreme prejudice that no matter what he does, they will always twist it into the worst possible view and then start screaming impeachment.

On the other hand:
Do YOU think that evidence of kidnapping et al is only told to the police because of TIPS? That a cable worker otherwise wouldn't call? Then why is TIPS needed?

Whoo Hoo!

I just volunteered for the TIPS program! I can't wait to report on all the anti-american activities taking place here in Thunder Bay, Ontario!

Believe it or not, they didn't have Ontario in their list of states! Come on! Everybody knows we're the 57th state!

Dan

Someone wrote: "We'll never know who's listening, waiting to report our unpatriotic sentiments to Uncle Sam"

The TIPS website says:
"Every participant in this new program will be given an Operation TIPS information sticker to be affixed to the cab of their vehicle or placed in some other public location so that the toll-free reporting number is readily available."

None too covert.

Not that I'm thrilled about the idea of my utility workers being recruited as spies (thin end of the wedge)...

Wil,

You have a FBI file. We are watching you.

Everyone contact your representative immediately! www.congress.org provides excellent utilities for this - we must express our concerns.

I can't type much right now, I'm so pissed. I, too, am choking on my breakfast. This...this....Damn, this is makes me so mad!!

Instead of repeating everything, my response is here:
http://www.seadoc.net/sd/archives/000153.html

It still amazes me that some people harp on others political beliefs. Calling them a "nut" or
"leftist" or what ever. Must everyone have a label put on them? Why can't people just say, "well, that's your opinion and this is mine." Is that so hard in today's societey?
If so, that's pretty disgusting. But, that is my opinion. What's yours?

All this from an Australian newspaper? No sites from an American Journalist? I don't see a TIPS program discussed at all on CNN, Foxnews or USAToday.

It's good to know that there are two sides to this issue. If everyone reading Wil's glorious bit of the web were of the same mind-set, then we would have cause for worry. It is the balance of having opinions, being able to voice them, and the subsequent resolution of issues based on compromise that gives us the freedom we so quickly take for granted. If you do one thing today, do this: Take all of this information, disseminate it on your own, and form an un-biased opinion that fits with your beliefs, your morality, and your sense of self. The real danger lies in hearing, reading, or witnessing an aggressive stance on one side of the fence or the other, and blindly agreeing or capitulating. Form an opinion, keep the opinion, speak your mind. It is the last true freedom you have left.

And now for some perspective.

Since people can volunteer for the TIPS program, and there's safety in numbers, chances are quite good that they'll take everyone they can.

Even the cranks.

The people who call up and report their wives.

The people who say, in the words of George Carlin, they can spot a guilty person...JUST LIKE THAT.

The people who report Hitler and Elvis seen drinking coffee and evilly rubbing their hands together.

The people who eat butter for lunch.

The people who aren't crazy, just silly, and feel the need to call every twenty minutes, with reports that conflict each other.

The people who are so lonely that they call and call and call, just to say hi to someone, anyone, EVERYONE.

Oh, yeah.

Your tax dollars at work.

Anyone who lives in a community with a Homeowner's Association (heavy emphasis on the ASS) already has the Community Gestapo minding their business for them.

That having been said, it's a damn shame that my fourteen-month-old daughter won't grow up in a country that even remotely resembles the America I grew up in.

I'm going to start spelling it, "Amerika." It has a Cold War feel to it.

We've met the enemy, and it's us.

(adjust tin foil hat) FOX MULDER was right!

Interesting.
Why is it that every time Wil posts something like this, and is justifiably worried, and a large number of people react in shock etc...all these weirdo Right-wingers start a-poppin out of the woodwork? Where do they get the justification for all the random insults and assaults on everyone who doesn't like whats going on?
"Leftwing conspiracy" - thats a good one.
Listen. The reason we're all worried about stuff like TIPS is that it has vast, vast potential for corruption and abuse on an unprecidented scale. As Rob Matushika points out, ANYONE could join this program, the loonies, the nuts, the psychos, any monkey with a personal agenda could use the horrendously wide-ranging powers of this idea to their own ends. Believe me, it won't just be the dodgy looking man who hands around the power station for no good reason, who gets informed upon. Itll be the Black guy that some redneck wants to screw over, the "alternative religion" follower who annoys mrs Miggins one day...personal grudges will get dusted off like never before.
Cant you see that?

Also, since when is it protecting the guilty when you want to ensure that the personal freedoms that our forebearers fought so hard for stay intact? Since when is it supporting terrorism, when you want to ensure that the innocent are not treated as guilty?
Every single clampdown, every peice of liberty frittered away on paranoid attempts to keep controlover peoples lives is a victory for the enemy.
THey want us scared.
They want us running around looking at each other with suspision.

The range of people, ethnic diversity and religion in America is so wide that such a system will damage more than it protects.

Think about it.

The Terrorism Information and Prevention System (Operation TIPS) should also known as the Special Human Intelligence Team.

Thank God I live in Canada where we aren't nearly as organized to pull of such a terrifying piece of legislation. Wil, you could always move to Toronto! :)

Well said, Fluffy.

AngryPenguin said:
>It still amazes me that some people harp on >others political beliefs. Calling them a "nut" or
>"leftist" or what ever. Must everyone have a >label put on them? Why can't people just >say, "well, that's your opinion and this is >mine."

It seems that many people, regardless of how they identify themselves politically and ideologically, are not able to discuss ideas and opinions. They're much more comfortable throwing out insults and name-calling...IMHO they do this because any suggestion which challenges their personal version of How Things Are(tm) is terrifying to them, and they fear that if they even respect another's right to have this opinion they're somehow betraying their own beliefs.

Just my .02 I could be wrong.

Its the thought police.

I'm scared now..

I read a customer review of Sinclair Lewis' book and...Tom Tomorrow recommended this book?!? Part of the review stated: "The particular targets of Lewis' contempt are just about everybody. Fascists, Communists, Liberals, Conservatives, Homosexuals, Jews, Blacks, Capitalists, Religious leaders and constitutional democracy all receive the point of his spear..."

Ugh. I think maybe George Orwell's 1984 might be more appropriate.

I'm not personally afraid of the idea *in theory* of a national database for tips to combat terrorist plots. I'm all for reporting suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities. It's the reality of this, the grand temptation for abuse, the infringing of our rights, the person who would be all too eager to sign up and report anyone wearing a turban that makes me worry. As a member of at least 3 minority groups, I'm more than a little nervous. How many people got the attention of McCarthy's little committee simply for voicing unpopular opinions?

And um, what Fluffy said.

..."You're sharpening stones,
walking on coals
to improve your business acumen"...

It's funny when a person who claims to hate people who sling insults and slander use phrases like "weirdo Right-wingers". Now, I am as center of road as a person can get, but I found this a little hypocritical.

I cannot honestly believe this is happening. Is there anything that we can do to stop this from going on? It sounds like it's already happening.

There are already numbers you can call to report suspicious behavior. There was no rule previously that you couldn't report something suspicious. Setting up a system like this isn't necessary to address that. It seems to encourage the people involved to actively snoop as opposed to just being vigilant. And I think we've seen that the problem is not so much with the scope and power of our intelligence agencies as with their ability to communicate internally and with other intelligence organizations to make best use of the information they already have. This TIPS program is just blowing smoke while nothing is being done to address the organizational issues, same as with the Homeland Security deal.

As Mike mentioned in an earlier post, I am reminded again and again of the excellent Next Generation episode 'Drumhead.'

Where is Captain Picard when we need him?

1. Massive increase in military spending.
2. Instigation of the leader by dubious means.
3. Recruitment of public workers to report suspicious activity.
4. Withdrawal from treaties/agreements recognised by the rest of the world.
5. A radically paranoid policy against non-nationals
6. Sustained foreign diplomatic activity 'are you with us or against us'.
7. A national policy called 'Protection Of the Homeland' (word for word!)
8. Antagonistic foreign policy designed to build national tension.
9. Initiated attacks on other states that represented a threat to the nation.
10.National fervour and flag waving declaring the leader as a saviour and hero.

Nazi Germany 1930's
or
?

Don't we have a Rememberance/Veterans Day every year 'lest we forget' ? And to make sure 'it never ever happens again' ?
Paranoia - no. Fear - YES. Somebody stop him. Last time this happened 26 million people had to die before it was sorted. How many this time ?

you people are way to paranoid

Kyrandos, near the top, says:

"Oh shut up Wil. It's a crappy idea, but don't get yer damn panties in a knot. We're not all gonna die."

Well as long as we're not going to die, I guess none of us have anything to complain about. I feel much better about life now.

I quote: "It's funny when a person who claims to hate people who sling insults and slander use phrases like "weirdo Right-wingers". Now, I am as center of road as a person can get, but I found this a little hypocritical."

My apologies. In my attempt to highlight something a regard as a major problem in debates like this, I went and slipped up and commited the act that i was trying to speak out against.
Whoops. My bad.

Ive been thinking about this TIPS thing, and trying to see it from the other angle. It still looks to me that it won't work, and will become bogged down in a quagmire of abuses of the system for petty and personal reasons. You see, even if you are Right-Wing or Left-Wing, you can still learn from history.

In Salem and during the Macarthy trials (sorry to bring them up again, but the parallels are to blatant to ignore), merely being accused was enough to destroy lives. When a system is put in place that condemns a person because they are accused, before evidence is brough before a court of Law, then justice goes right out the window.

I'll give you an example. Here in Britian, one of our Celebs was shot dead outside her home. The police eventually anounced the arrest of a man who they said they had evidence against. he was accused of the murder, and was set up as a savage monster, villified BEFORE he had even been to court. After his conviction, it now turns out that the evidence is so shaky that there could have been a miscarraige of justice. But it doesnt matter, because he is already viewed as the killer...even if it is later shown that hes not.

its not justice to lock up an innocent person when the guilty one cannot be found.

He who ignores the past is doomed to repeat it.
(ominous sound of jackboots marching....)

In the UK we have lived under the shadow of terrorism for the past 35 Years, a shadow that only now is passing. Over this significant span of time the British Government has never came close to implementing anything as extreme or draconian as the measures put in place under the Patriot Act or the ever increasing series of "Security Measures" implemented by the departent of homeland defence. Admitedly the Uk governments own response has been suitably paranoid, with the ideas such as national identity cards and new IT snooping powers being drafted, but these measures have been greatly limited through reasonable parlimentary debate and are not as extreme as had first been feared. It is my hope that this process is repeated in the US before the land of the free becomes the land of the watched and the home of the fearful. What must be kept in mind is that once these measures are in place, it is highly unlikely that they will ever be revoked and as a result will only be built on as no politician will want to appear weak on the subject of security against both internal and external threats. One final point must be made about accountability. Although the US legal system does account for such eventualities the point must again be stressed that no politicians or accountable bodies will want to be seen as weak on security issues and will treat a personal grievence with the same determination and conviction as a serious threat creating an air of fear and mistrust between people and government alike.
to draw my ramblings of a drunken old hobo to a close, one final thought must be this STTNG Production no 152, stardate 43173.5... Who Watches the Watchers?

First off, the BBC is a reputable news organization. The other link I posted was from a Pakistanian newspaper. I doubt either is anything like the "National Enquirer".

Now, for all of those with blinders on...

With the new "Patriot Act", a LOT of our rights get taken away, and it gives authorities the right to:

a. Immunity from wiretaps (Sec. 225) - Basically, they can come into your house, wire it, not even tell you about it, and use it for evidence in a court of law.

b. The ability to look at your bank account any time (Sec. 312)

c. DNA identification of terrorists and other offenders (Sec. 512) - basically allows them to take DNA from anyone that has been arrested for any reason - and catalog it (notice how they conveniently added the "other offenders"?)

d. Authorization of funds for dea police training in south and central asia (Sec. 1007) What the heck does that have to do with terrorism??

That's only a very few of the over 1,000 new items that were passed in the "Patriot Act".

Now, sure, you might say that "Well, if I have nothing to hide, then they can look anyway". Do YOU want ANY individual of authority looking into your personal information any time they want? All it takes is ONE person with a vandetta against you, a family member, a friend, etc. to take action. Believe me, I've been dealing with politicians for going on ten years now...it's all about personal gain and personal interests. It's all corrupt anymore.

And, secondly, this is a repeat of the 1950's when AMERICAN CITIZENS were accused of being russian spies, even though the government had no evidence! Would YOU want to be falsely labled as a "terrorist"? Would you want to live with that "label" the rest of your life? You would be an outcast of society! Sure, they can say they screwed up, but you'll still live with that label. People will still treat you differently.

And, this TIPS thing? It'll pit neighbor against neighbor! Do you want your neighbor watching your every move? Do you want your neighbor to label you as a "terrorist"?

This is worse than racial profiling!

Believe me, I love America and am PROUD to be an American, but I'm not happy with my government.

Bush himself even said "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it." (Thursday, July 26, 2001)

And, about the war in Afghanistan.

As I stated earler, the current administration planned to attack even BEFORE 9/11. A quote from the article:

26 June 2001: India and Iran will "facilitate" US and Russian plans for military action against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don't bend Afghanistan's fundamentalist regime.

Now...that was dated June 26, 2001 - nearly two months PRIOR to 9/11.

And, bin Laden supposedly is on dialysis? What, are they dragging the dialysys machine from cave to cave? And these videotapes...how is it that an average random citizen in Afghanistan will magically have a videotape of bin Laden in their house, but the CIA, FBI, and all of our military forces cant find him??

Do they really want to find him? No. If they did, they'd have to end the war. The war has NOTHING to do with bin Laden, it has to do with the fact that the US wants to run an oil pipeline across Afghanistan from Russia.

Did I mention that Bush's daddy owns several oil wells over there? Coincidence?

Here's one of the latest headlines:

"Bush Endorses National ID and New Government Secrecy Measures"

What's next? All newborns will be required to have "Digital Angel" (http://www.digitalangel.net) implants so they can watch their every move?

Our kids are forced to take shots for other stuff, what's to stop them from forcing the implants as well??

if this "tips" program is for real...reality is finally catching up to science fiction in the worst possible way...george orwell would not be surprised...we used to sneer at the communists for this kind of thing...have we really gone so far down the road to become like the enemy that "lost" the cold war!...d.burr

>>Take all of this information, disseminate it on your own, and form an un-biased opinion that fits with your beliefs, your morality, and your sense of self.>>

First of all, I agree with what you're saying, but you should note that there's no such thing as an "un-biased opinion". Our bias is affected by everything, our hair colour, what I ate for breakfast, what happened to me yesterday...all shape who I am, and what I believe. I believe that what you meant to say was that people should read all they can, learn all they can, and try and recognize the bias of those people they are getting their information from. Then, try and form an educated opinion, while recognizing your own bias.

>>Now, sure, you might say that "Well, if I have nothing to hide, then they can look anyway". Do YOU want ANY individual of authority looking>>

Okay, I'll say it. Here in S Korea teachers are often monitored by the school and parents on closed-circuit tv monitors. Now I'm always amazed at the number of foreigners who freak out over this. Yes, at first it can be a little uncomfortable, but if you're not doing anything that you shouldn't be doing with someone else's children, then why worry about it.
Someone above pointed out that people involved in this program would have their vehicles marked, if this is true than I'd have to agree that it doesn't sound like anyone's trying to hide it. So, if the cable man shows up with a sticker, and I'm not making bombs in the basement what do I really have to worry about?
Some of you here would say that I'd have to worry about the crack pot cableman! Well, don't police agencies already deal with crack-pots? Aren't they trained to identify crack-pots?
I see this system as being what someone way above stated...an easier way to keep records, relay information through agencies, and an easier method for those who do see something suspicious to have themselves heard, and to know who to go to.
Now, when it gets scary is when improper education occurs. I would hope that there will be some training for these people. They can be taught what to look for, so can everyone for that matter. But, if you preach propaganda, or spread that education in a way that creates paranoia, then you have a problem.
Speaking of S Korea again. There is a "report a spy" telephone number here, you have 119 for emergencies and 11_ for spies. Now, it seems funny, however, a few decades ago this idea was created and accompanied by propaganda that was causing young children to turn in their own parents for nothing. Now that's frightening. Now, I figure some will write and say that if the US people allow this now, then this is where you are heading...and perhaps you are right, but I just don't see it.

>>Authorization of funds for dea police training in south and central asia (Sec. 1007) What the heck does that have to do with terrorism??>>

Most Asian police and government institutions have a reputation for being more corrupt. Most Asian countries have weaker police forces, slacker immigration laws, and less money to enforce law. So, Asia is prime territory for the trade of weapons, sale of weapons, sale of drugs and meeting places for terrorist organizations. It is easier to get in and out of the country, and easier to conduct business unnoticed. It is also an easier place to conduct acts of terrorism, hence the previous attacks on US embassies.
That's what it has to do with terrorism.

Responding to AndrewD:
>All this from an Australian newspaper? No sites from an American Journalist? I don't see a TIPS program discussed at all on CNN, Foxnews or USAToday.
CNN, Fox, and USAToday have backed the govt. up too much to start bad mouthing it.... i dunno, just a guess

I would like to state that if those two young girls who were recently kidnapped had been implanted with a digital locator device, they just might be at home in bed, safe and sound, instead of missing and possibly murdered. I would give up some of my own personally security and freedom to save the life of a child. No question about it.

What next? A kind of recruitment poster like in "Red Dwarf"?

"Be A Government Informer!
Betray Your Family And Friends!
Fabulous Prizes To Be Won!"

Looking at all of this, I guess living in Indonesia (complete with bombs, radicals, maniacs, useless police force, inept and totally corrupt politicians) is looking better and better.

God, there has to be better days!

Beyond that, I may as well start packing for Antartica! Anyone else?

tanyak, I agree with you totally. Very well said!
In continuation, relating to terrorism in central and south Asia, China has many problems in the western part of their nation, with Al Queda supported terrorists. They are even receiving bomb-blasts in Beijing from these terrorists.
Also, in the Philipines, the Abu Sief rebels, another enclave of Al Queda supported terrorists are kidnapping, torturing and killing forigners and nationals. That is the reason for supporting DEA in the whole of Asia in my opinion. The fact of the matter is that terrorist groups are using drug sales and routes to fund and plan acts of terror. THEY MUST BE STOPPED!

Bryan Gilchrist, you misrepresent the Patriot Act on many fronts. (As is typical for liberals).
(a) Wiretaps. A judge must give permission for the wiretap, as they did before the Patriot Act. Also, the Government is required to inform the person of the tap within three months after the investigation has concluded.
(b) Ability to look at bank accounts anytime, yes and they did before as well. Ever heard of an audit. Ever heard of the IRS. Look it is YOUR side - the left - that refuses a flat tax.
(c) DNA - Yes they keep DNA samples of convicted felons and other terrorists. They also keep fingerprints, are you against this as well? (Typical pro-criminal, anti-victim liberal sentiments).
(d) Look above.

This TIPS program is innocent. You people, people. You watch too much bad sci-fi (ST:TNG was excellent though, I mean like DS9 and Babylon 5) and read too much Communist and Socialist PROPAGANDA. Guess what Hitler was a Socialist, and you people sound as paraniod as he did.
I don't want more people to die in preventable terrorist actions. Do I complain at the airport when I have to remove my shoes and remove my belt - NO. Why should people ignore obvious criminal acts. They shouldn't. In the TIPS program, calls are made to a central location and the people who need the info get it now, rather than through the ladder of government.
No, you people would rather have the US held at the wim of criminals. A guy wants to blow up something, the call is made to the police, they call the State Police, they call the FBI. After the time that chain takes to happen the guy is done and people are dead. Oh well, at least the TIPS program isn't in effect, thank goodness. That is NUTS!!!
Bryan Gilchrist, I think you little conspiracy theory regarding Bush is INSANE. OBL was being coddled by the Taliban. The reason we didn't get OBL was because he is paste on the wall of a cave somewhere. YEAH!!!!
Oil, let me tell you about oil. Old Gore is an oil man too. Ever heard of Occidental Petroleum. No, look it up. Gore is a rich oil man. Oh yeah Gore's pappa was a racist, and a democrat (not mutually exclusive). Look up his senate record, you MIGHT be shocked. You think the NUT fell far from the tree? I don't!
And what the Government should have NO secrets, get real. I do agree a National ID is repulsive and unneeded. Your liberal - socialist UK and commonwealth friends might disagree, after all the UK is looking at that too. Hmm, interesting. Also, no child is FORCED to have vaccinations, idiots that don't want them can refuse. And very easily too.

E, Fox News did cover the TIPS, on Hannity and Colmes just tonight. As for CNN who knows.

NEVER AGAIN!
DON'T FORGET!

*CORRECTION*
I do NOT complain at the airport.

Thanks :}

"Also, no child is FORCED to have vaccinations, idiots that don't want them can refuse."

Oh no, you almost had me going there with a few things you said. But this... calling people who don't want to expose their children to vaccinations "idiots"... I think you'd do well to do a little bit of research into the health benefits vs. the health risks of vaccinations, particularly concerning young children.

NYC said: "This TIPS program is innocent. You people, people. You watch too much bad sci-fi (ST:TNG was excellent though, I mean like DS9 and Babylon 5) and read too much Communist and Socialist PROPAGANDA. Guess what Hitler was a Socialist, and you people sound as paraniod as he did."

Hitler also had a little group that worked very similar to the TIPS program.

The only thing he wanted was to clean the streets.

Remove the criminal element.

It wasn't until all forces were in and nothing could be done that he defined what he felt the "real threat" was.

Intentions aside, this is a BAD idea.

And for practical reasons, NYC, it's going to fail.

Cranks.

Misinformation.

Bad judgement.

You think that the lines for reporting terrist activity aren't ALREADY choked with bedbugs as it is?

Then you said:

"Oil, let me tell you about oil. Old Gore is an oil man too. Ever heard of Occidental Petroleum. No, look it up. Gore is a rich oil man. Oh yeah Gore's pappa was a racist, and a democrat (not mutually exclusive). Look up his senate record, you MIGHT be shocked. You think the NUT fell far from the tree? I don't!"

Okay, conservatives need to know that the whole "Dems are just as bad" thing...

...well, it's a really shaky arguement.

You really don't win any points by saying "well, THEY'RE just as bad as US!"

But maybe you have a point about socialism.

There is a large amount of people in this country--children--who quote socialist Francis Bellamy, repeatedly.

It's true.

His most famous writing is said in classrooms every weekday.

"I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands -- one nation indivisible -- with liberty and justice for all."

During the McCarthy years, they added that "under God" part.

>>does this mean that if a cable installer enters a home and finds evidence of kidnapping, bomb making, or murder, he should just ignore it. >>I would like to state that if those two young girls who were recently kidnapped had been implanted with a digital locator device, they just might be at home in bed, safe and sound, instead of missing and possibly murdered. I would give up some of my own personally security and freedom to save the life of a child. No question about it.>Bryan Gilchrist, you misrepresent the Patriot Act on many fronts. (As is typical for liberals). >Also, the Government is required to inform the person of the tap within three months after the investigation has concluded.>Ability to look at bank accounts anytime, yes and they did before as well. Ever heard of an audit. Ever heard of the IRS. Look it is YOUR side - the left - that refuses a flat tax.

let me try this again:

"does this mean that if a cable installer enters a home and finds evidence of kidnapping, bomb making, or murder, he should just ignore it."

Of course not. No one’s asking them to. Actually, if someone saw anything like that they would report it. So, why would we even need TIPS in the first place? Many kinds of military/police state/dictatorships have formed using programs like this. All it takes is a little research to see that. History repeats itself.

"I would like to state that if those two young girls who were recently kidnapped had been implanted with a digital locator device, they just might be at home in bed, safe and sound, instead of missing and possibly murdered. I would give up some of my own personally security and freedom to save the life of a child. No question about it."

Ok, that statement actually made my head explode. wipes blood and tissue off the screen I would never subject my children to be nothing more but a tracking number to a government that would as soon send them off to a desert war, so that the President in the White House at the time and his son and all of his friends can make large amounts of money in oil deals and then 10 years later his son can buy his way into the White House and start another desert war which will once again end with lots of money for their oil friends. Don’t believe me? Well, all you have to do is look up the financial history of the Bush’s and their friends during the Gulf War. I would never allow that kind of government to have homing devices on my children. Or ANY kind of government for that matter. No matter how “noble” their cause may be.

"Bryan Gilchrist, you misrepresent the Patriot Act on many fronts. (As is typical for liberals)."

Have you watched the news? There are Republicans that are completely against the Patriot Act. Many of them speaking about it openly to Congress and also speaking out against Bush and all of the Big Government programs that have come into play since 9/11. Including the “War on Terrorism” because it’s so open ended the US could use that argument against ANYONE. Again, there are Republicans that feel very strongly about this. I’ve sat and watched hour-long speeches about it, given by Republicans. It’s not just the “liberals.”

"Also, the Government is required to inform the person of the tap within three months after the investigation has concluded."

Oh, how nice of them “three months after the investigation has CONCLUDED.” So, if the investigation went on over the course of 6 months, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, my house will be bugged without my knowledge the whole time, but that’s ok because I’ll know about it three months after the investigation is over. Ok, I was almost worried that people’s rights were being taking away. How silly of me.

"Ability to look at bank accounts anytime, yes and they did before as well. Ever heard of an audit. Ever heard of the IRS. Look it is YOUR side - the left - that refuses a flat tax."

I’ve known people who have been audited, and the government INFORMED them that they were being audited. It wasn’t just the government looking up their back account info just because they wanted to. Of course I don’t work for the IRS so maybe spying on people and their finances was a part of their usual practices.

Rob Matsushita, it is interesting you don't dispute the oil ties, but you missed my other point totally. Democrats are hypocrites, two faced. They claim to be the "party of the poor" and of "minorities", but when the civil rights legislation was adopted in the 1960's it was the republicans that supported it, LBJ couldn't get enough of those "progressive" democrats to support it. My point, democrats are worse, they have no soul, they are nothing more than political whores praying on the weak and the frightened. Once they have their "demographic" under their thumbs look to liberty to REALLY be curtailed. Not this vapid arguement over TIPS but real substantial losses in rights.
As for Bellamy, previously I was unaware of his socialist affiliation. As a Baptist minister, do you think he would have been opposed to "under God"? Also, after researching it a bit I found, that "The original Pledge was recited while giving a stiff, uplifted right hand salute, criticized and discontinued during WWII.", I'm not suprised that arm part would have been added by a socialist. As for McCarthy he was a drunken idiot. That said, Communists WERE discovered and that was positive. As for the witch-hunt mantality that was evil, and should be discouraged. TIPS is nothing similiar to that, and is a good attempt at twarting terror. Too bad you can't understand that.

Matt, I'm a biologist and know full well the BENEFITS of vaccinating kids. The "research" disputing this is spurious and anecdotal. It is not supported by the CDC or NIH. Get your facts straight. And yes those people that refuse treatments for children are NUTS. The death rate for children would be at third world levels in this country if vaccinations were refused. Education is the key, to getting good quality healthcare, this includes vaccinations. Look at death rates in the late 18th and early 19th century. It was staggering, infant mortality and child death were at unimaginable levels. A couple may have had 10 or 12 kids and had 1 or 2 survive. I'll take vaccinations any day of the week over mortality rates that great.
I do agree that "natural" immunity is preferred to vaccinations, but it is not a humane alternative. Remember, an ounce of prevention...

NEVER AGAIN!
NEVER FORGET!

"..I would never subject my children to be nothing more but a tracking number to a government that would as soon send them off to a desert war..."

Just remember you said that, Druidgirl, if your children ever get kidnapped by some sorry excuse for a human being. I feel very sorry for those people and I'm sure they would do anything right now to have their kids back. Tracking devices should only be for young children. Why would you think that adults would continue to walk around with these devices implanted in them?

I agree that the government has the capability of abusing it's power, but I also believe that our system is designed to stop this abuse. I think it would be extremely hard for a president to stage some kind of military overthrow of the US government or find some way to destroy the Bill of Rights. And no, I don't think this is what is happening now.

BTW - The people who fought in Desert Storm and in the current operation in Afghanistan all entered the military voluntarily. There was no draft or kidnapping involved.

druidGirl, do you really expect that wiretaps conducted before the patriot act were conducted under the full knowledge of the suspect? No! That is why they get a wiretap, so they don't know. Yes, a judge still must sign off on it, just like before. I don't see the big deal here.

Again, TIPS funnels the information to those who NEED it, to twart terror more easily. Try calling the cops in some parts of this country, maybe they will get to you next lifetime. After all, there is no sense in protecting the innocent, let the terrorists kill at their wim. Lets just continue letting them run wild.

Oh, the bank accounts, yes your bank is REQUIRED to report any account activity to the IRS for tax purposes. Don't blame me, I'm just the messenger. I don't care for the IRS either, but it will never go away.

And the kids being implanted, that is so wrong. Those that prey on children should get life sentences (rape, kidnapping - nonparental) or death (for murder), and get no parole. We have the ACLU PROTECTING murderers of children, this is so wrong. They want no warning to the community if those people are living there. Stiffer laws would prevent and deter criminals.

After reading some of the posts above, and then fallling over spluttering...

The IRS and any Auditors you may encounter are obliged to inform you that they are carrying out the audit, either a short time in advance or when they turn up to do it. They cannot simply rake through your accounts and then leave you in the dark about the fact that they did.
As for the Wiretap thing, that is totally, utterly INSANE. 3 MONTHS after the investigation is CONCLUDED!!! They don't even need to tell you that you are being investigated until 3 months after they finish? Pardon me, but if I were being investigated, I would damn well want to know about it!

Any referances to any anti-terror/anti-crime measure that are being discussed in Britian should be made with the following knowledge. The "snoopers charter" which would have allowed groups as wide ranging as the Post Office, to have access to things like e-mail and phone records, has been shelved because David Blunkett was able to see sense and decided that the pkan would merely invade a lot of peoples privacy for no cause, and not actually stop terrorists.
The ID card system is also falling down the agenda. After all, we all carry ID cards already. Credit cards, bank cards, drivers licence (picture included) et etc. And an ID card would be too easy for criminals to forge. The Euro bank notes have 25 differant top of the range security measures to prevent forgeries. There were forgeries on the street the day before the Euro was officially launched, and the timing was the only reason they were noticed. which brings me to my next point.

What purpose would electronic tagging serve but to inhibit the freedoms of the innocent? Terrorists would simply find ways to circumvent the system (you cant track someone who isn't tagged) or enter it illicitly, through the black market.

NYC said "As for the witch-hunt mantality that was evil, and should be discouraged. TIPS is nothing similiar to that, and is a good attempt at twarting terror"
- TIPS is an open encouragment to witch-hunt mentality. Totally. It allows nay, encourages, people (cable-men, crossing guards, house cleaners, the bitter drunk who lives next door, the racist who thinks there are too many ethnic people on his street)to snoop into other peoples affairs, and report anything that MAY seem suspicious. Remember, that guy who watches all those airplanes through binoculars might just be a amateur plane-spotter, but we won't know that until the Feds descend on him as if her were a terrorist.

Here are some snippets from a report in The Herald, the one of the two Biggest broadsheets in Scotland, and one of the few that prides itself on reporting fact rather than bias.
"US civil liberties groups today warned that an appeal for millions of citizen informants could lead to "government sanctioned peeping toms. The Terrorism Information and Prevention System plans to use 11 million civilians whos jobs allow them into homes to report "suspicious activity"
"Jon Whitehead, executive director of civil liberties group the Ruthford Institute, said it was a dangerous idea. He said, "Its making Americans into Government snoops. Bush wants the average American to do what the FBI should be doing?"

Any monkeyboy, come to fix the plumbing, or the TV, or to install gas, with no training, and no lawfully approved and regulated ability to spot the differance between a role-playing game suppliment and an assasination plan, entering my home and reporting what he sees to the police? No thanks.

PS. NYC, quick question. MMR or single vaccines staggered over a period of several months. Where do you stand? (just asking)

After reading some of the posts above, and then fallling over spluttering...

The IRS and any Auditors you may encounter are obliged to inform you that they are carrying out the audit, either a short time in advance or when they turn up to do it. They cannot simply rake through your accounts and then leave you in the dark about the fact that they did.
As for the Wiretap thing, that is totally, utterly INSANE. 3 MONTHS after the investigation is CONCLUDED!!! They don't even need to tell you that you are being investigated until 3 months after they finish? Pardon me, but if I were being investigated, I would damn well want to know about it!

Any referances to any anti-terror/anti-crime measure that are being discussed in Britian should be made with the following knowledge. The "snoopers charter" which would have allowed groups as wide ranging as the Post Office, to have access to things like e-mail and phone records, has been shelved because David Blunkett was able to see sense and decided that the pkan would merely invade a lot of peoples privacy for no cause, and not actually stop terrorists.
The ID card system is also falling down the agenda. After all, we all carry ID cards already. Credit cards, bank cards, drivers licence (picture included) et etc. And an ID card would be too easy for criminals to forge. The Euro bank notes have 25 differant top of the range security measures to prevent forgeries. There were forgeries on the street the day before the Euro was officially launched, and the timing was the only reason they were noticed. which brings me to my next point.

What purpose would electronic tagging serve but to inhibit the freedoms of the innocent? Terrorists would simply find ways to circumvent the system (you cant track someone who isn't tagged) or enter it illicitly, through the black market.

NYC said "As for the witch-hunt mantality that was evil, and should be discouraged. TIPS is nothing similiar to that, and is a good attempt at twarting terror"
- TIPS is an open encouragment to witch-hunt mentality. Totally. It allows nay, encourages, people (cable-men, crossing guards, house cleaners, the bitter drunk who lives next door, the racist who thinks there are too many ethnic people on his street)to snoop into other peoples affairs, and report anything that MAY seem suspicious. Remember, that guy who watches all those airplanes through binoculars might just be a amateur plane-spotter, but we won't know that until the Feds descend on him as if her were a terrorist.

Here are some snippets from a report in The Herald, the one of the two Biggest broadsheets in Scotland, and one of the few that prides itself on reporting fact rather than bias.
"US civil liberties groups today warned that an appeal for millions of citizen informants could lead to "government sanctioned peeping toms. The Terrorism Information and Prevention System plans to use 11 million civilians whos jobs allow them into homes to report "suspicious activity"
"Jon Whitehead, executive director of civil liberties group the Ruthford Institute, said it was a dangerous idea. He said, "Its making Americans into Government snoops. Bush wants the average American to do what the FBI should be doing?"

Any monkeyboy, come to fix the plumbing, or the TV, or to install gas, with no training, and no lawfully approved and regulated ability to spot the differance between a role-playing game suppliment and an assasination plan, entering my home and reporting what he sees to the police? No thanks.

PS. NYC, quick question. MMR or single vaccines staggered over a period of several months. Where do you stand? (just asking)

sorry bout the double post. Stupid fecking PC was having connection problems again.

Sorry

I went to the TIPS site and really tried to get myself to believe this was all some hoax. I really don't want to believe it has gotten this bad. I bet most folks are exactly the same - which is why we are blind. And why they will win. What a sick thought.

“The people who fought in Desert Storm and in the current operation in Afghanistan all entered the military voluntarily. There was no draft or kidnapping involved.”

I never said anything about that, so I don’t see your point. The government views its people as cattle. And their opinion doesn’t change just because those “cattle” are serving in the military. That’s what my comment was about, not that the draft is in effect.

“Just remember you said that, Druidgirl, if your children ever get kidnapped by some sorry excuse for a human being. Tracking devices should only be for young children. Why would you think that adults would continue to walk around with these devices implanted in them? “

First off, once the government has us all tagged and easily traceable do you really think they are going to let us remove those tags? There has already be talk about forcing people to carry US citizenship cards and we already have adults with microchip tags implanted in them.

Second, there is only so much you can do to prevent crime from happening. You lock your doors and windows, you carry pepper spray on your key chain, you take self-defense classes, and you tell your children not to talk to strangers. But despite all of that, you can never prevent crime. If some wacko wants to take children and do horrible things to them, it’s going to happen. That’s horrible and sad and awful and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but no microchip is going to stop that from happening. And a lot of the sexual predators do their damage within a very short period of time after taking a child. They don’t sit around waiting for people to discover these kids are missing and then start looking for them. Even if you could track these children down, there is going to be a good chance that not much can be done at that point.

And at this point the conversation was gone WAY off topic, so I’m done here.

Hey Fluff, nise to 'earrr frum ye agAin. (Mock Scottish accent)
Interesting you would call working class gents like me a - monkeyboy. This is typical of the liberal mindset particularly in the socialist areas of the UK. It is a disturbing sense that you are superior to everyone else and thus you have the right to control them, because of your "superiority". It is more typical in nations like socialist France, that arrogant attitude of superiority, but is making in-roads in the UK too. It is disturbing and you Fluff are a perfect example, with your attitude of calling the middle class worker, monkeyboys.
I don't know who David Blunkett is, but whatever, I thought Tony Blair was the PM I guess Blunkett must be really powerful 'eh?
If you really want to know the truth about those who refuse MMR vaccines read this study:
http://www.medem.com/MedLB/article_detaillb.cfm?article_ID=ZZZL66641HC&sub_cat=620
As for the regimine of vaccines, there is more than MMR that should be given. I would assume that you are referring to infants in this question. I'm not an MD so this is my understanding but should be performed by an MD. The MMR vaccine should be given from age 12-15 months in one shot. That said, they should be given a shot for hepatitus b; at birth, at age 1-4 months and at 6-18 moths (3 shots). There is also DTaP - diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. This is given in a series of shots at ages 2, 4, 6 and 12-18 months (4 shots).
Also their is a vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type b - Hib. This should be given at ages 2, 4, 6 and 12–15 months (4 shots).
Also, IPV - polio vaccine, at 2, 4 and 6–18 months (3 shots).
Chicken pox - varicella zoster vaccine, at 12-18 months (1 shot).
pneumococcal conjugate vaccine - PV7. At ages 2, 4, 6 and 12–15 months (4 shots).
When I say shot - this means an innoculation.
If I have to do this for every age, my hand will fall off. But my answer is that it depends on the vaccine and at the age it is given. An adult needs updates too. This IS a lifelong job. But the above regimine would be suitable for an infant, and should be followed by intellegent parents with the care of an MD or acceptable substitute.
This is not my "normal" area of interest in biology. I research cancer promotion, specifically in NIH 3T3 cells, using typical medium. If you wish I can bore you with the details.

Facist is as facist does.

Well, druidgirl, I guess we disagree on tracking implants. I feel the conclusions you are coming to regarding government control and Orwellian regulations don't give the people of the US a lot of credit. I can tell the difference between a good idea to protect children and when my rights are being violated. This is not something that is going to sneak up on me one day with bolder and bolder government policies.

People have compared situations like this to a frog in a pot of water. Well, I'm not a frog. I can see corruption and abuse of power when it happens. I don't think this is it.

What happens when children are implanted a tracking chip? The first thing a kidnapper or molester will do is cut it out, probably without medical knowledge or environment; or kill the child quickly and leave it dead somewhere to be found. So it doesn't really help solving crimes, but the government can track you down all the time.

Great idea.

NYC
You never cease to amaze me. Are you yanking my chain? From the use of one word, just one, and that one being "monkeyboy", not only do you extrapolate that I have some sort of superiority thing going over "working class" people, but also that i am a socialist.

Er WRONG and, WRONG.
Null points.
You have not won 65 thousand dollars.

I don't think that I am superior to anyone (except maybe weegies), and certainly never indented any such implication. I happen to BE working class - sort of. I have a crummy low-pay office job in a cubicle farm. Snob city, huh? And what is this "thus you have the right to control them"??? One of the main themes in my arguments against things like TIPS is that such control is a BAD THING. My religion teaches me that every person has the right to learn and grow and discover without other people controling you or your ideas. I dont want to control anyone. It is, literally, against my religion to impose the kind of control that you imply, or the kind of control freakery that Bush is trying to impliment.
I used the term Monkeyboy to describe any person off the street whos abilities, motives and intentions I do not know and therefore cannot fully trust. No more, no less. It wasn't intended as a "let them eat cake" descriptor.

David Blunkett is the Home Secretary here in Britian. It is one of the most powerful Cabinet positions, with powers over Community Policy, Crime Prevention, Criminal Justice, Drugs Policy, Immigration. So yeah, he is "really powerful"

Your link to hte medical study was appreciated, thank you.

I'm interested in your views on the studies by Dr Andrew Wakefield and the current European studies that have discovered live measles virus in the highly inflammed guts of a number of children who developed symptoms off ,and were diagnosed as having, autism soon after recieving the MMR vaccine, and that at least one of those children was shown to have VACCINE virus in their gut. What do you think?
Oh, and since I'm a bit of a scientist myself (or I would be if I could get a job somewhere decent), I'm actually interested in those boring details you mentioned.

That was a really lame fake accent, ya wee scunner. If ye canna be doin wi a wee bit o effort, jist gonnae no bother, aye?

Ah, its amazing how history repeats itself. If any of you are familiar back in the early 40's and 50's an investigative group called the House of Un-American Activties Commitee or (HUAC) was created to investigate any suspicious activities during the "Red Scare". In the beginning they were created for people to report and work with law enforcement officials as "citizen spies" suspicous of people or groups that may indicate Communistic beliefs or indicating disloyalty or "Unamerican" behaviour. This spawned the blacklisting and the persecution of civil right advocates including DR. Martin Luther King jr. and other "liberal" organizations. Many "spies" used it to prosecute neighbors relatives and strangers they disliked and many suspects or "witnesses" were detained.
Perhaps Im wrong, perhaps I'm overeacting (just a tad) but the Patriot Act ( http://www.epic.org/privacy/terrorism/hr3162.html)
has already caused the detaining of several "witnesses" without counsel, explanation, or bail. As I've read and understood about the explanation of TIPS program is this, its objectives are very similar to the HUAC back in the 50's. And like the HUAC which was able to gain power from a much similar act created during the First World War called the Sedition Act. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAsedition.htm TIPS has the potential to become a repeat of a dark period in US history.
If we dont keep an eye on this TIPS program and begin asking some serious questions about it, its mission may lead us into another age similar to the House Of UnAmerican Activities Committee. It may bring us back to blacklisting and more detained "witnesses".
If you don't believe what I've said about these similarities do some research. The similarities in the HUAC mission and the TIPS program are uncanny.

First off, I'm not left-wing or right-wing or any wing for that matter. This country was formed in 1776 for FREEDOM. I would like to keep my freedom. I will fight to keep my freedom. The government is taking that away by adding laws against my Bill of Rights.

As far as shots go, your child CAN NOT get in to ANY school unless they have an up-to-date shot record. My question is, are they even effective or needed anymore? Are they REALLY to treat what they say they are to treat? The government secretly tested drugs, germ warfare, and other stuff on soldiers in the 60's...who's to say we arent guniea pigs today? (Needless to say, I would get my kids the shots they need, but still...)

The government and corporate america want to make us dependant and lazy...and - it's working!

Do I watch the news? Rarely. Most of what is on is spoon fed by the government anyway. They tell us what they want us to hear.

Thanks Wil for pointing out this TIPS thing. When I was kid in the sixties they used to tell us about those dirty Commies doing this sort of thing in Russia. It was common enough lore that there were jokes on tv... somebody ratting out their father, who had ratted out their mother.

I submitted this little bit of trivia to Slashdot just in case nobody else noticed it. Just try to find coverage in the freedom-loving American press!! There's an article in The Guardian today about the post office deciding not to participate.

>>To suggest that George W. Bush is going to somehow overthrow the America government considering how our system works is just asinine.

"Seeing as George W. Bush was appointed "president" by his Daddy's friends on the Supreme Court and only got that far thanks to massive voter fraud commited by his brother and his appointees, and seeing that since his taking power we have seen for the first time in this country's history citizens being held indefinately without charge and without legal counsel, I don't think appealling to the fairness of a broken system is an adequate argument"

Explain to me how the system failed. Don't you think that if there was evidence, even a shred of proof that what you "claim" is true that Gore and the other Democrats wouldn't have jumped on it? Oh, but I guess this is yet another Republican, right-wing conspiracy to hide the real truth that all the other high ranking public officials missed, but you had the insight to discover in your spare time. Good job. Even Gore said the system worked, but I guess old George got him too.

What is really funny is that on one hand GWB is a stupid dumb hick that can't even give a speech without screwing it up, but then on the other hand he is a criminal mastermind, plotting the death of millions of Americans, just waiting to take away your precious civil liberties. He must be the most brilliant man ever born. Act like a dunce in public, but then plan the end of the world in his bunker. You people are a riot.

The really amusing thing is, I'm not a republican and I'm not right-wing. I just have the ability to smell shit when it's shoveled.

"What is really funny is that on one hand GWB is a stupid dumb hick that can't even give a speech without screwing it up, but then on the other hand he is a criminal mastermind, plotting the death of millions of Americans, just waiting to take away your precious civil liberties."

Just a reality check here--I don't think anyone's saying HE'S the criminal mastermind, if you get my meaning.

"Don't you think that if there was evidence, even a shred of proof that what you "claim" is true that Gore and the other Democrats wouldn't have jumped on it?"

Um, they sort of DID. But the results coming through were in the wake of 9/11, where they were page 2 news.


"Oh, but I guess this is yet another Republican, right-wing conspiracy to hide the real truth that all the other high ranking public officials missed, but you had the insight to discover in your spare time."

No, it's another Republican, right-wing conspiracy to hide the real truth that everybody knows about but no one can discuss publicly.


"Good job. Even Gore said the system worked, but I guess old George got him too."

This is what concession means. What else was he going to say?

The system failed because a large portion of the country got convinced that they "counted the votes, then they counted them again, then they counted them again," when if the vote had even been counted once we wouldn't be having this discussion.

I just reread what I wrote up there, and, good GOD is that smart-assy.

So I just want to step outside of the debate, here, and remind myself and everyone else that the purpose of a debate is NOT to win.

The purpose of a debate is to illuminate both positions and to find a common ground that both sides can agree on.

Yes, with humor.

Yes, with candor.

But copious amounts of zingers and sarcasm, while fun, are pointless and counterproductive.

Because they basically make your statements about YOU, and not the subject at hand.

Just because I feel I'm right does not give me the right to treat a fellow poster like they are nothing. I may feel that way, but to point that up is only self-aggrandising--and again, mars whatever standpoint I may have.

So, I apologize for not being able to stop myself for going for the cheap shot. There's a time and a place.

I've said this before, but the reason I don't use a handle or nickname is because I feel that if you're going to put words out there, you should be accountable for them later.

So, let's go on with this--this is a very interesting debate, that I think we need to flesh out.

Rob,I'm sorry, you're right, but I need to squeeze in on more "smart-assiness"...

>>As for the Wiretap thing, that is totally, utterly INSANE. 3 MONTHS after the investigation is CONCLUDED!!! They don't even need to tell you that you are being investigated until 3 months after they finish? Pardon me, but if I were being investigated, I would damn well want to know about it!>>

Me too, 'cause I'd stop doing my illegal business over the telephone and I'd do it through e-mail!! I hope they'd tell me before they even start!

aside...as for necessity of vaccinations...I don't pretend to know...however, living in Asia I have learned that vaccinations are not the same the world over. Example, here in S Korea children are vaccinated against chicken pox, I learned this when I caught them here at the age of 27, a really nice experience. People travel into and out of different countries every day bringing different immune systems with them. Just because you think that one disease may no longer exist in the States it doesn't mean that someone might arrive from another country for vacation carrying that disease. In my opinion, vaccinations are very necessary.

Ahar ahar ahar. Laugh, I almost did.
Tanyak, i was trying (unsuccesfully, it seems) to get across the idea of what it would feel like to have the Feds wander up to you and say, "by the way, we've been investigating you, your family and friends, because we thought you were a terrorist. The investigation lasted 2 years, during which we tapped your phone, tracked your e-mails and raided your bank accounts, all without your knowledge or giving you a chance to defend yourself in any way. We racked through your entire personal life, but its ok cos we stopped 3 months ago when we found out that you were actually an amateur robotics fan, and the highly complex portable reciver you were building was for your RObot Wars entry."

Sounds fun.

When the President of an alledgedly Democratic free state announces that it would be easier if it were a dictatorship, I get worried. When the same man is the son of someone who failed to pummel the entire Middle East into submission last time one of em got warlike (Daddy Bush was the one they were calling the WIMP PRESIDENT in newsweek, right up until he started throwing missiles at Iraq), and who blatantly has a "daddies approval" issue, then I get scared. When the same guy is the President of a country that wields enough firepower to reduce the surface of the planet to ash 20 times over (after he agrees to reduce that power a little), and acts like a boy with his dads gun, then I get paranoid. When that guy is so dumb as to reduce complex human issues into black and white, good vs evil, like its a fucking cartoon, then I want to know why his countrymen don't get him away from the big red button before he drops his plate onto it.


...and as I stated in my original post, I would be one of those people who wouldn't mind, because I'm not doing anything illegal, and I don't have anything to hide. I'd be glad to know that the government was actually taking steps to defend against another Sept. 11.

NYC You're such a tool to your fears. Some terrorists carry out one fucking coordinated attack on our country, exploiting passive cooperative attitudes in hostages and you like everyone else is out of control doing what ever it takes to make sure we're safe. The one plane that didn't cooperate didn't strike it's target. The odds of a serious attack happening again inside the US are realistically zero to none UNLESS the government is neglegent in preventing it.

You can give them all the fucking powers you want, you can like your life oblivious to what a slave you are but if they continue to be neglegent it won't matter.

Everything done so far to "prevent" terrorism is IRRELEVANT to fighting terrorists. They're a show to fool Americans in to believing we're safe once again.

Get a grip of yourself NYC, you're letting your fears overwhelm you. The threat is NO WHERE NEAR AS BIG AS GOVERNMENT/MEDIA makes it out to be. Jesus, use your fucking head

Thank you for taking my words to heart.

(Jesus, we didn't even last ONE entry.)

why don't you register for the soapbox and continue there? The discussion thread is in "Religion and Politics":
http://www.wilwheaton.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=5991

tanyak, I agree. Thank you, your posts are concise and logical.

WTF, you are making a gratuitous assertion, that our threat level is zero. We saw one major attack, what evidence have you that it cannot happen again. The facts do not bear this out. Saudi Arabia (where nearly all of the terrorists were from), has a visa program with the US where a travel agent in Arabia, is the agent in getting visas, a government agent never even interviews the applicant. We have people like that entering this country in this way, every day. It must stop. We have illegals here, this MUST end.
Once the loopholes and coddling of illegals is topped then it is possible to relax, but in a sate of war, where they will kill every American they can find, yes extra vigilance is needed. If there is fear, it is justified look at Israel. They face bombings EVERY DAY. Do you for one minute think the terrorists will not do that here too. No, then you are not credible.
That "one fucking coordinated attack", took the life of 3000 American and costs 100's of Billions of dollars in damage. That is no small deal. You MAY think they just got lucky that one time, but I NEVER want to see it occur again. That is why terrorists and those that support them, including foreign nations, must account for their activities and murders. I know you disagree, that is why you and your ilk, I have stated coddle terrorism.
you say the risk of terrorism is "realistically zero", but then say "Everything done so far to "prevent" terrorism is IRRELEVANT to fighting terrorists. They're a show to fool Americans in to believing we're safe once again." So are we or are we not safe? I must also conclude from this statement that you supported the Taliban and Al Queda in Afghanistan? That the terrorism they imposed on the native population was "irrelevant"?
That this "show" didn't thrust them from power? You are what humane persons call a relativist. That their (terrorists) position is as honest and as real as the US. That mindset is dishonest, intellectually, and is on an emotional level rather than a intellectual one. I can't change you emotion, you bleeding heart, so I won't try.

Fluffy, I like your Scottish accent. I'll try to improve mine! Perhaps I had a little too much Canadian in it? Anyway. I noticed you quote "When the President of an alledgedly Democratic free state announces that it would be easier if it were a dictatorship, I get worried. "
The quote by President Bush, was a joke. Remember Clinton, and "I smoked but never inhaled", when refering to his dope habit. You assertion that the US is an "alledgedly Democratic free state", I see there is an innate ANTI-AMERICAN tone in ALL your arguements. If you fail to see this (USA)country is the most free and fair nation on the planet, bar none, then their is no common ground on which to argue. The US has a constitution, a Bill of Rights, Religious freedom, legal immigration (one of the highest rates in the world), equal rights with women, and so on and so on. Tell me one nation in the Middle East with such guarantees, other than Isreal. The answer NONE. Even take the UK, the Official Religion is the Church of England. The US has no official church. Their is no official language. Canada has French and English as theirs. The UK and Canada also has very liberal immigration policy, similar to the US.
That is why I rate most of Europe and the former and current commonwealth members as well as some Asian nations as brothers in freedom. This fact you must obvioulsy dispute (as the US is "alledgedly Democratic"). A crying shame!
David Blunkett, sounds like he has a position similair to Tom Ridge, Homeland Security Director. Mr. Blunkett's position regarding National ID cards appears to be a good one.
As for Dr. Andrew Wakefield, I have not looked at his research before, but I have looked into it.
I did find a link which addresses the issue rather well.
http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vacsafe/concerns/autism/autism-mmr.htm
The good doctor is addressed at the bottom of the page.
If you have access to a university library you can look up the following journals which seem to dispute Dr. Wakefield.
Journal of Medical Virology 1998 July ;55(3):243-9, Absence of detectable measles virus genome sequence in inflammatory bowel disease tissues and peripheral blood lymphocytes. Afzal M.A. et al.
Gut 2001 May;48(5):637-41, No evidence of persistent mumps virus infection in inflammatory bowel disease. Iizuka M. et al.
Lancet 2002 Jun 15;359(9323):2113, Autism, bowel inflammation, and measles. Thrower D.
British Journal of Nursing 2002 May 9-22;11(9):621-5, MMR and autism: an overview of the debate to date. Phelan AT.
BMJ 2002 May 11;324(7346):1118, Scottish expert group finds no link between MMR and autism. Christie B.
There is a ton more, that dispute the findings of Dr. Wakefield, and the ones that don't just call for more research, which is a good idea any way, to keep checking the efficacy of MMR. There is no smoking gun here.
As for my research, I use 3T3 cells, a mouse line to test what agents maybe responsible for tumorogenesis, specifically initiation. TPA is my choice for promotion. The cells are then put on the standard 3T3 cycle, as well as checking for foci. Once a change is detected, PCR and electroporesis is utilized for location of the proper sequence change. As of yet I've not isolated it. I also occasionally do staining. Like I said, somewhat boring to hear about. I enjoy it.
This post is far too long and I appologize.

Wil,

I'm glad to see yet another person who believes his political views to be purely unbiased and uninfluenced and yet cannot form his own opinions. Way to be a supposedly "a-political" robot.

Bleep.

If anyone is familiar with the book "Lies My Teacher Told Me", the author states that this has been in practice for a number of years already. According to this author, at least one person on your block has been collecting info about you & your neighbors for a database, since the Korean War. They are looking for the next Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and anyone else who might stir up the status quo. This is nothing new. If someone from the FBI or CIA offered you a check every month to take a few pictures, attend a few bar-b-ques and write up a report about the kind of stuff your neighbors are talking about, would you do it? I tend to believe the author of that book.....I know my neighbors. They are the nosiest bunch I have ever met. I might be the only one on my block NOT getting paid.

NYC
Nothing wrong with Canadian accents (I like Canada, especially British Columbia, beuitiful place).

The thing with America, and democracy,is that it as a country always seems to be less democratic than it thinks it is. Please bear with me on this one.
- The whole fiasco of the last Presidential election is a case in point. The situation, where hundreds of people were excluded from the right to cast votes for the flimsiest of reasons (there are cases where people were exluded because they apparently had criminal records, when these people hadn't even been arrested in their lifes), and the days spent arguing over tags on bits of paper, well it all looked very mishapen and messy, and to the outside observer trying to wade through the reams and reams of reports on it, it looks a lot like the wrong guy got the job. Im not saying that our method is any better, but at least there is usually a really good, clear cut indication of who won. (neither am I implying that all the people who got exluded from voting, were not crims, but some of them WERE innocent of any such misdemeanor)
- I've said it before, and I'll dare to say it again. The equal rights that you mentioned are no more equal than anywhere else, and in some cases they are worse. Discrimination because of race and gender are still very big problems in some parts of America (as they are here, I admit. Idon't like that either).
- America is not really very fair. ON arms exports for example. Bill Hicks may have been joking around when he talked about America being "the bullies of the world", and selling arms to all these countries and then attacking the countries because they had those same arms, but he had a serious point to make. Also, Bush has shown that he is only fair to America. He has pulled out of so many international agreements because they were detrimental to American interests, such as the Kyoto agreement (some of the parts of Kyoto that he pulled out because of had already been changed by American diplomats). Then theres the International Court, which Bush would only sign on to if US soldiers were immune from its powers. Whats fair about that?
Im not even going to talk about what Bush wants to do to Alaska.

What Im trying to say is that Im worried about the way America is going. The tactis we are seeing Bush use are very muscle-bound and "me first". When the most powerful military country in the world, the only real superpower left, starts throwing its weight around like this, we outside the US start to get real nervous.

I'm not ant-american. I'm anti-Bush. He strikes me as an extremely dangerous man in some respects, not because of any malice, but because he has vested interests that comprimise his position and because he doesn't seem to understant how many people he is pissing off.
I'm also against the arrogant atitude that says that America is the greatest and best country in the world, and that everyone should agree with this. You fail to see, or refuse to see, the damage that has been done to cultures, environments and lives due to US companies and US foreign policies. We can admit our mistakes and the horrors that we have caused, (selling weapons to IRAQ, just like the US, selling weapons to ISRAEL, SEIRRA LEONE and on and on), can you do the same?

I'll give you some common ground. We both seem to believe that freedom is worth fighting to protect. The differance between us is that I see things like National ID cards and TIPS as assaults on that freedom.

Thanks for the stuff on MMR.

Don't apologise for long posts. The more you write, the clearer your argument, and the smaller the chance for misunderstanding.

Hi Fluffy,
You make some interesting points, but may have been mislead on some key points by the press reports.
The presidential election. The US is a representative democracy, and that election as EVERY previous presidential election was decided by the Electoral College. Every president from Washington to Eisenhower to Kennedy and Clinton were elected by that body. The college is made up of "electors" from the various states. (I must admit is akin to the electors of the Holy Roman Empire - except it isn't an inherited title). This election Bush V. Gore, was misrepresented by the popular press, mostly because Gore is a sore loser. In fact Bush won in Florida. The votes counted and he won. The whole problem is the the press said Gore won, when the votes weren't even 10% counted. The last time a vote was this close was with Nixon and Kennedy. In that election Nixon won the popular vote, but lost the electoral college. Nixon didn't complain, and thus saved Kennedy from the problems Bush has with the similiar election.
As for voters not getting to vote because of this reason or that, come on that is not going to effect the final results. In an election with MILLIONS of voters the 5 or 10 (even if it was 1000 or 5000 - which it wasn't)(those who voted with the "hanging chads" were STUPID and do you think people who can't push a pin in a card in the correct place should have their vote counted?) (The one who approved the ballot was a democrat) effected wouldn't swing the vote. And how does anyone know they weren't Bush voters. The US does have a secret ballot. This election was basically an urban versus a suburan and rural fight. The urban areas voted for Gore, because they like and want big government. I like small government, which full fills its constitutional mandate, the minting of coinage, securing of the common defense, electing Federal judges, operating with checks and balances. The 3 branches of US Government have again and again violated the constitution. The Departments of Education, Energy, HUD and other including the IRS, violate the constitution. They are allowed due the "necessary and proper" clause in the constitution. An example of Judical misuses include Roe V. Wade, the Justices in the case created law, which is the sole power of the legislature. It made determinations based on NO EXISTING LAWS, and set arbitrary dates at certain trimesters for having abortions. The legislature has made many laws in violation of the constitution, including the IRS tax code, there are 2 allowable ways to levy taxes. The first is a tax added into the total before paid thus effectively never seen like the gas tax, the second is a tax added to the bill, such as sales tax. In either case they are calculated for you. In the case of the IRS one must assess their own tax and if they are incorrect, can be severly punished including given prision time. I would call that debtors prision.
Not long ago they just ended a tax on telephone calls to help fund the Spanish-American War, which as far as I know ended over a century ago. The bigger the government the more misuse and evil that they bring.
-Equal Rights. You state "The equal rights that you mentioned are no more equal than anywhere else, and in some cases they are worse.", "discrimination because of race and gender are still very big problems in some parts of America (as they are here, I admit. Idon't like that either)." You gotta be kiddin' me, let me say IRAN, IRAQ, CHINA, PAKISTAN, SAUDI ARABIA, SUDAN, SOUTH AFRICA, etc.
IRAN, IRAQ, PAKISTAN, SAUDI ARABIA and other Middle Eastern Nations don't allow women ANY RIGHTS. They can't leave the country without the permission of man, they can't get a divorce, they are beaten and jailed if their "clothing" is "inappropriate". Women are executed for such "offenses". In fact in many cases they are stoned to death if they are raped and and refuse to marry the rapist. They also execute children under 14. You call this more "equal" rights that those in the US. Get Real.
CHINA, they use unimaginable offenses to humanity. I think you know what they are about.
SUDAN, they regularly mutilate the genitalia of females "female circumcision". They goverment is very brutal and kills the Christians in south. More fair?
SOUTH AFRICA, The white farmers are having genocide committed against them, they are being killed by the thousands. The government then forcibly disarms those left. I guess this is ok, and more fair? Because of Aparthied? I think BOTH are wrong and are crimes against humanity.
The problem with your assertion is that we have LAWS here which ARE enforced that strongly punish discrimination. What it seems is that you want to control thought, that is illegal here. Everyone should have the right to their own thoughts, where it hurts someone is where it has to be stopped. Job discrimantion, based on sex or race is illegal, and carries stiff fines and in some cases jail time. The problems are a lot less here than the Jessie Jacksons of the world would like you to think. Work still needs to be done, but it is under control. I would say that the US is the shining beacon of the WORLD in race and sex relations.
-American Fairness, I don't know what countries you are referring to that we sell arms to, and then attack because of the weapons. I assume you mean Iraq? Umm, they attacked Kuwait, unless you think that was ok? Perhaps Korea? That was a UN mandate, under Truman. I refuse to defend indefensible like him. But, I don't think we sol them weapons, though I could be wrong. Perhaps Vietnam? Again a UN mandate, also because of the alliance to France. This was Kennedy and Johnson, again I refuse to defend the indefensible. But, sold weapons? I would guess no, they were getting enough from China and the USSR.
Grenada? Reagan attacked their because of a communist military coup, a country right off the US coast come on we had to act. And so so effectievly and quickly. There was no time to sell arms to the rebels, they didn't last long enough.
I'm running out of places.
As for Bush only being fair to the US. Umm... he is the President of the United States of America, and that is as it should be his first priority in all cases. Usually because we are allied with certain nations their interests are added in, and a balanced policy is created, it has worked rather well has it not. The USSR is gone, Russia is OUR ally. The Iron curtain (a Chuchillian phrase of some repute) is evaporated. Not bad, that would seem to be in the best interest of the UK too!
As for KYOTO, it was a bad plan from the beginning. Bush didn't pull out of it, the US was NEVER in it. Yes, Gore signed it, but he had NO POWER to do so. The Democrat held congress refused it, because it was a bad agreement. The west would have been punished, having to return to pre-1990 level emissions, while China and other "third and second world" nations would be exempt.
As for the International Court - well bullocks to that! A bad idea. No way, it is utterly and totally unconstitutional. It gives power to unelected foreign powers to arrest and punish American citizens with NO CONSTITUTIONAL protections. The court itself is just a way to subvert national soverignty. Bush not only refused to join the court, which I expect the US never will, but would have pulled out of EVERY UN operation immediatly if the soldiers were not immune. It is fair, because it protects innocent soldiers from a corrupt government.
-Alaska, guess what? The Alaskans want to drill, yes thats right they want to! They are over 80% in favor of drilling. It will bring revenue, something they need right now. It is people that have never been to Alaska that want to decide her fate, it that fair?

I think I understand the fear, of the US "throwing its weight around". As a foreigner one can never be sure of the ultimate intention of such moves. But the US works with the UK in every decision effecting forign policy, we are allies. I think if Clinton had used his power in the 1990's the world would be a safer better place now. Did you know he was offered OBL on a silver platter? He didn't take it. It sickens me greatly.
Bush is a person who talks big - either you are with us or against us - but then waffles on the issue. That is dangerous to foreign policy, and US power, but doesn't effect much else. I would guess the ones he is "pissing off" don't much like the US anyway.
The attitude of "America is the greatest and best country in the world, and that everyone should agree with this." I of course believe the above statement to be true, but Americans don't care if anyone disagrees with the statement. We just get pissed when we see people all around the world cheer and pump their fists in the air when 3000 Americans died. That makes us angry. It would you too.
There is a sentiment that all cultures are somehow equal or deserve equal respect. No, they don't. I don't respect a culture like those in the middle east that abuse women and commit genocide (Iraq and Kurds). I don't respect a culture that hasn't grown since the 11th century.
The US gets blamed for everything, damage to culture, environment, lives. This stuff was going on way before the US was around. And will go on until the end of time. And I suppose the US is to blame for all of it, right?
I don't think selling weapons to Isreal is or was a mistake. They are the only Democracy in the Middle East, and would be eliminated, driven into the sea and the civilians slaughtered if they didn't receive military support. They deserve it too. I view Israel as a man, alone faced on every side by angry wolves waiting to strike, all we do is throw a stick now and then to him to defend himself. Why is that so wrong?

I agree that freedom is the most precious right we have next to life itself. I see National ID's as a threat to freedom the same as I see big government as a threat, they go hand in hand.
TIPS is just a tool, while we are at war, to report illegal and potential illegal activity. In the US we have a large confusing government (which is the real bane to liberty) and TIPS makes sure the information gets to who is needs to get to as quickly as possible. That is its purpose. Nothing more. I think it is the hatred of Bush and some strange paranoia. Do I think TIPS should go on forever, no. But right now it is needed to protect lives. I am for the protection of the innocent, but potential inconvience is worth it when people WILL die without it. Terrorists still exist and target America, we can't quit, or it is a death sentence for thousands perhaps millions of Americans. We wont allow that to happen, no matter who is pissed because of it.

You are very welcome for the MMR info. I was unaware of the research, so it educated me on the issue. I think it is important to test the safety and efficacy of all drugs. I'm glad to see the vaccine is safe. Children deserve all the protection we can give them against disease.

It's a little long again. But no apologies! ;>

>>...and as I stated in my original post, I would be one of those people who wouldn't mind, because I'm not doing anything illegal, and I don't have anything to hide.

Nor do I have anything to hide. But, you obviously don't understand politics. If someone in office, or someone who knows someone in office, gets a pickle up their ass about you, they are going to do what they can within their political power to make you look bad. Believe me, I know...I've dealt with politicians on the local level as well as the State Attorney! Politics is nothing but a power trip.

>>I'd be glad to know that the government was actually taking steps to defend against another Sept. 11.

Tanyak, no offense dude (or dudette), but where the hell were they BEFORE September 11th? Heads need to roll because of September 11th! Sure, they can blame in on the al Qaeda till the cows come home, but why was the FBI, CIA, INS and all the other agencies involved sitting around with their thumbs up their asses? Didn't we learn anything from the attempted boming in '94? Didn't we learn anything from the Oklahoma City Bombing??

You need to remember that the government works for YOU. YOU pay them, therefore, they need to answer to YOU. YOU are their boss.

When I first read the article, I admit my first thought was of HUAC. I also thought immediately about the case in which searches of the home without a warrant or permission from the homeowner were made illegal. It reminded me of in school how there were sometimes "nametakers" to rat on the kids who talked when the teacher was out of the classroom.
It saddens me to see so many people already jumping on each other. People calling others totalitarian or paranoid. I see how just this issue has divided people and already started some hostility. My father works for the federal government in the Justice Department and has done so for 30 years. Yes, there are people who pose a threat to security. Yes, over 10,000 people were trained to be terrorists under funding by Osama bin Laden. But I do not like the idea of this civilian spy network. Why? Too many things to go wrong. I mean, the government can't even reign in it's own employees much less civilian volunteers. I think they mean well by this but with the number of problems that exist with their current system and how they handle information, this is bound to be one major SNAFU. I doubt that it is even necessary. You see, the reason the attacks on Sept 11 were a surprise was not because the US lacked the ability or resources to get the information. It was not because they did not have the information. They DID in fact have information but the different agencies do not communicate with each other. FBI is particularly bad about this. You would be amazed at how many terrorists could have been stopped if only the FBI had shared information with other agencies. People got bent out of shape at INS because some Visas were approved for a terrorist 6 months after he crashed one of the planes into the world trade center. They failed to realize that visas are issued by State Department, not INS. And the Commissioner of INS was too f***ing ignorant to know that! The biggest problem is the beurocracy. Hailing back to the days of Jimmy Carter, people in high positions don't have to qualify for the jobs, they are appointed by politicians. The last 3 commissioners of INS have been ignorant about INS policies and not known jack about how to handle things bc they were political appointees. Did you know that the last commissioner was supposed to be fired for negligence but they only kept her because her husband had been killed and they felt bad for her? And the one before that didn't know that Puerto Rico is a US territory and people born there are US citizens. Now, it is one thing to have someone check in on people who fit the profile of potential terrorists (there must be some form of probable cause). The fear that some people have is that overzealous volunteers will go too far. They can gather blackmail material. And if the government can't keep their own people in check, how are they going to keep a bunch of civilian volunteers in check? Yeah, the system if they set it up can be abused. HUAC was a horrible mistake and people are wary that it might happen again. I understand that. I also understand people want to feel safe by weeding out terrorists. The problem is, when you take away one liberty, it may soon be considered ok to take away another and another. This isn't just paranoia. Look at history. We did survive the whole stupid thing with HUAC. But if people get as upset with each other over this sort of thing in just discussions, can you imagine what it would be like if the plan was implemented? It's inevitable that there would be some abuses. The extent of the abuses are unknown. I mean, it could be like the nametaker thing I mentioned in the beginning. The kids wouldn't rat out their friends for talking, but sometimes they would wrongly accuse innocent kids of stuff just because they didn't like them. So some kids who hadn't done anything would get punished. Another thing to look at is that now that the news has become advertised about the TIPS plan, that means any terrorists know about it and will be on the look out for spies. They will be more careful and may even harm or kill people they merely suspect of being civilian spies. Anyways, I think the proposed TIPS thing is one big disaster waiting to happen. A political nightmare in the least.

NYC
Thanks for taking the time and effort to post such a large and detailed reply. I feel i need to comment on one or two things, however.
First of all, I got the majority of my information about the presidential elections from Newsnight, a BBC political reporting programme, very highly regarded, highbrow, the works. These guys know their stuff.
I respectfully suggest that the numbers involved in the wrongful exlusions were a loy larger than 5 or 10. I don't know how much coverage it got in US, but it made hefty headlines over here. Isn't it also interesting that all this happened in Florida, the governor of which is one of the Bush family, which suggests a conflict of interest. My point about the Hanging Chads, and the exclusions, was that it was not nearly as Democratic as it should be. Whoever these people would have voted for, it is the fact that they were prevented from doing so that is the problem, undemocratic, unfair. And we cannot determine how much of a differance those vots might have made. the point is they didnt get their chance. And whether those who used the Hanging Chads were stupid or not, they still had to right to have their votes counted.
On equal rights, I freely admit that the Middle East has terrible attitudes towards women and other religions, but I was talking about America. whether Iraq or Pakistan have bad attitudes or not doesn't invalidate my point that US has also got cruddy attitudes too. just because they don't manifest as men whipping women for not wearing veils, doesnt mean theyre not there. The Glass Ceiling is no myth, it exists in business and science, all through western culture, especially in the US. In living memory, there were places in the US which bore the sign "sorry, no negros", there are still places in Amercia where Blacks are not welcome at all. I could spend a year writing about the human rights problems in the US, and in Britian.
Oh, and I wish you wouldnt keep putting words in my mouth. I did not say, nor imply that the Middle east has better rights systems than US. In fact I didnt mention them at all. Nor do i want to control what people think. where do you get that one from? I have never made that assertion, in any post, ever.
America Armed Iraq. its that simple. Iraq would not have had the firepower to invade Kuwait if they had been unable to get decent weapons to do so. America supplied those weapons. Most of the equpment that Iraq are alledged to be using to make bioweapons was bought from America and russia. Also, it think that the rapidity of the Allied response to the invasion of Kuwait might also have had something to do with the oil reserves there. if the only reason we got involved was the invasion itself, it would happen a whole lot more than it does.
The taliban had help from western powers when it origionaly got to power. Its a recognised problem that the US has had a hand in the overthrowing of governments that got too uppity and overly aggressive, and then has to do the same to the government that they helped install.
KYOTO - turned into a bad plan due to the requirements of the American Diplomatts, and the Bush pulled out due to those requirements. The US WAS in the treaty, until the change in Administration. It was clearly reported by NEw Scientist. I must admit a strong bias in this one. My field is Environmental Science, and I was really pissed when Bush pulled out of Kyoto, because I believe that the whole western world needs to stop worrying so much about luxuries and money and "we're alright, jack", and start to take responsibility for the damage we have done to this planet.
My point about Bush being only fair to Americans is this. when American fortunes have a knock on effect on much of the rest of the World, the US should take into account those effects. Pulling out of Kyoto weakened the whole process, and set back the whole attempt to put in place an international system for reduceing the harm we do to the planet.
Bushes attitute towards the international court was arrogance on a massive scale. The International Court would not be controled by any one governemnt, it would exist to try and prosecute any country that commited war crimes and human rights abuses. demanding imunity from it would allow a corrupt President to do whatever he liked, without a legal recourse against him. It was supposed to have teeth, to properly prosecute the Slobodan Milosivics of this world. Bushs attitude was not fair because he was demanding special treatment that the other countries that signed on to it had not, because if it is to work then everyone must get on board equally. Immunity would allow Amerca to uswe the court to prosecute whoever they wished, with no threat of prosecution for any crimes US might commit. i dont call that fair, i call that hypocritical.
on alaska, it will be yet another beutiful, diverse wilderness ravaged to provide businesses with money. Ah, progress.

I dont blame the US for all of the worlds problems, only for those that the US is responsible for. This idea that since the US cannot be responsible for everything, then they cannot be responsible for anything, is ludicrous. with great power comes great responsibility.
Just because a culture isn't a carbon copy of your own, doesnt invalidate it or make it less viable. I happpen to agree with you on the Middle east, they have not progressed much in centuries, but sometimes progress is not as shiny as it appears. what I mean is, Amercia may be a better culture than say, Afganistan, but the US has real problems as well, and is far from being the best of all cultures. This "arent we the coolest?" thing needs to be reigned in, just a tad.

Israel. I see your point and its valid. But its not that simple. This stick we keep throwing them, keeps getting used to kill Palistinians. The Palistiniian death toll is many times what Israel has suffered. Israel occupies large areas of land that are not theirs, and many live in houses built by Palistinians while those who built them are in enforced camps or dead. Im not defending the Palistinian terrorists, Im saying that theres another side to the story, that Israel is very shaky democraticly and is very brutal and selfish towards Palistine. Example. a while back, a small mob of Palistinians attacked an Israeli jail because a Palistinian prisoner had mysteriously ended up dead. They killed 2 guards. Israels respose was to send 4 gunships into the town to fire missiles into homes, the jail and at people who were trying to run away. Israeli soldiers who speak out against such heavy handed retaliation are treated like shit, very unfairly. there are two types of terror in that situation. The palistinians fanatics (not exactly representative of the whole culture) terrorise innocent Israeli's with siucude bombs and sneak attacks, and the Israeli's terrorise the Palastinians with tanks and aircraft. By selling weapons to Israel US is exacerbating the situation. I notice too that several Israelis were arrested by the UN for selling weapons to Palistinain militants. Those weapons were of American manufacture.

On TIPS. How will you get the Emperor to give up power once he has it? Its paralleled in the latest Star Wars movie. Palpitine says..."I will give up these unprecedented powers when the current crisis has passed". He has no intention of doing so, the power is too useful. Once your in your nice cosy bed with TIPS and the patriot act, you'll find that there are too many people in the government who will have vested interests in keeping them in place, ev en after the crisis is passed.
An observation, it is this "America and only America" attitude that sticks in so many peoples craws, including mine. It leads to the rights of other peoples and cultures being run roughshod over to protect Amercian interests. Isnt it about time you realised that you cant afford to do that any more? its like saying, "we dont care about you, you are not important, because you are not American."

On MMR, im worried that the vaccine may not be safe at all. A study in America has mirrored andrew wakefields findings, as has a study in Holland. And much of the research that apparently debunks those findings has been shown to be fatally flawed or not relavant ( do you get Private Eye where you are? its been reporting on the MMR business since the beginning). worse still, some of the companies that prduce MMR are now stopping production of single vaccines, which reduces choice for those parents who dont want to use MMR because of evidence like that of Andrew wakefield's studies. its not a good situation.

Anyway, there you have it. No doubt theres a lot of anti-amercian bias in there, or something, but im just trying to look at the whole picture.

toodles

Fluffy,
The election. I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. The thing is that allot of American press (yes, even liberal papers and foreign press) went to Florida and checked the election results. Yes, they allowed independent auditing firms to count them. They counted them with the standard Gore wanted, and BUSH won. They counted them just flat out and Bush won. Bush won Florida. It's that simple, I don't know what information they were reporting on Newsnight, but it might have been overblown. There was a major investigation into people being "refused" the vote. In one case, a "voter" didn't go into vote because police officers were at the polling station voting, and he was "afraid" of them. Cops have a right to vote too. The guy was nuts and given way too much credit. In another case a woman spoke Hindi, and "couldn't understand" the ballot, and needed a "translator", if she can't recognize the words BUSH or GORE, what is she doing there. The vote isn't a joke. With the Chads, it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the voter to cast an accurate ballot, if not the vote is "illegal", and it says so in the law. They were allowed in to vote they were unable to cast an accurate vote. That's not Bush's fault. I think that machines should be made electronic all over the US, to avoid these mistakes. If they were, the truth is that Bush would have won anyway.
If you have ANY evidence that Jeb Bush had ANY effect on the election in an illegal manner, I WANT TO KNOW. IF, that is the case then it should be prosecuted vigorously. I have seen or heard of NO evidence pointing to that, nor has anyone else or it would be all over the news. It is wrong to accuse someone of fraud on that level, with no evidence it is SLANDER.
On equal rights, you said that "he equal rights that you mentioned are no more equal than anywhere else, and in some cases they are worse." I respectfully say that is untrue, and I gave examples to point this out. That was my intention. The rights of minorities in the US ARE greater than in ANY other country. Why, because they are truly equal rights. Every citizen is equal under the law. That can't be said of most of the Middle East, Africa or Asia.
As for the "glass ceiling", that is illegal and is given stiff sentences, and rightfully so! The average American male views women as equals, because they are and any crime like that that is a crime against all. That is my feeling and it is the feeling of the majority of men here. In fact, when cases like that happen, I feel the punishment should be stiffer.
The "No Negroes sign" is certainly not in my memory; it is in the memory of a few that wish to undermine this nation. African Americans in this country have more constitutional rights and make a living greater than in ANY OTHER COUNTRY in the world. This is not a myth. I will not defend the treatment that group received in the distant past, because it is indefensible. The situation here, I would state is better than in N. Ireland, where both sides murder each other, because they fight to be separate. Here, were fight to be one.
I view that to be much more positive.
The reason I brought up the thought thing is this - we have strong anti-discrimination laws. The only way to make them stronger is to control thought. Everyone, no matter how sick they maybe has the right to his or her own thoughts. The way we do it here is fairer than in most of Europe. People here can proclaim from the highest hill I'm a nazi, a racist, a Democrat, a Republican, a supporter of Sinn Fein, or Labour, or Tories or whatever. Once they do this, we have the right to shun them for it. I don't want to associate with a nazi, they are evil. But let them expose themselves. Let them think what they will and say it loud, it will reveal their true evil and that way we know who they are.
That is why laws that control thought are wrong (France is a good example).
IRAQ - This is like expecting the US to be a fortuneteller. The US supplied arms to Iraq, not to invade Iraq, but contain IRAN. Don't forget that in the late 70's Iran killed our Ambassador after storming the embassy. They were getting weapons from the USSR. I don't deny that oil has been a factor in Middle East politics for a long time. Perhaps it would be more stable now if after WWI the Ottoman Empire hadn't been gutted and turned into British and French mandates. Now we have a bunch of little generals pumping their fists in our general direction. Why? We need oil for our economies and they got it. I don't like using oil either, but you come up with something feasible and I'll listen. Solar is too expensive and takes up too much land, ditto with wind. Hydroelectric, that's ok but it is mostly centered around coastland, the US to too massive for that. Nuclear, too much poisonous waste. In addition, I'm not convinced that "Global Warming" is occurring. And IF it is, that man is responsible. ONE volcano the like of Mt. St. Helen’s put out more pollution than man has done since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. And we have 100's going off all the time. The activity has been higher in the last 20 years. I liken this "Global Warming" to other scare tactics of the environmentalists, like CFC's the stuff they made to replace it is worse than the original stuff. Oh, and CFC's are heavier than air, how do they travel miles up into the atmosphere to attack ozone? Little gremlins filling magical balloons, which float, up and break on the ozone? One person said, well lightning breaks the molecule and allows it float up there and destroy the O3 molecules. Umm, that isn't what the studies I saw said they were doing. They said they were using CFC's not component molecules. The constituent molecules are too reactive to float all the way up there; they would have reacted with other gasses long before they could reach the ozone.
Those draws me into KYOTO, the US was NEVER in the KYOTO treaty. Gore illegally signed it and it never went into effect. The US congress has to agree with ANY treaty before it can go into effect, and they NEVER have. In fact Clinton, only gave lip service to the treaty, but couldn't get it through congress, thank God! The truth is that treaty would have been a disaster for the US economy, and would have had no noticeable benefits, at least in my humble opinion. The US now has such clean technology in manufacturing that the only noticeable waste product from the smokestacks is CO2, yes carbon dioxide, what you and I breathe out very day of our lives. I say plant more trees and grow algae ponds, the algae will produce hydrogen and that can be used for fuel cells. But, Kyoto was BAD plan from the start.
Environmental Science is a good field. I took an ecology class, but didn't like it much. We had to pick weeds and weigh them, measure trees, and wade in hip deep swamp water. Yuck! Poison ivy was everywhere, I ruined my dress shoes:> Tell me do you have the stoichiometry to prove that global warming or the depletion of the ozone layer occurs? The last time I checked there no such data. It is all anecdotal, with that the US should destroy over a decade of progress in the economy so we don't piss off anyone. I don't think so.
The international court. No way should we be in that court. It places soldiers, in jeopardy for bad decisions of the rulers of the world. It is a court that creates political prisoners of soldiers; does this world need more political prisoners? It doesn't prosecute the country; it prosecutes innocent soldiers for the crimes of their leaders. That is hypocrisy. I don't have a problem with capturing and trying war criminals, but using soldiers and other nationals, perhaps even civilians as pawns is wrong. Get the leaders; no problem there, but I don't like Americans being jailed at the whim of a foreign power, for the crimes of other parties.
My hope is that the US will NEVER get aboard such a "court". If it does then the American citizenry will have no liberty, protections or freedom we will be slaves to a world court, punishing 80 year old grandmas for "potential" abuses that never occurred. Our constitution is the supreme document over our citizenry; it is a violation to get into any "court" with those powers. The Supreme Court is supreme here, and always will be until the US no longer exists. Other nations can do what they wish, but leave us alone. I don't want the US to have any affiliation with the court, not to prosecute, or to be prosecuted.
Alaska, it wouldn't be ravaged at all. Look at the plan, it uses ice roads, not permanent ones, and less than a football field worth of land to pump the oil, that isn't what I would all ravaged.
I disagree; the western culture is the greatest the world has ever known, in that I include Israel. Who is the most tech. advanced, producing food for the entire world? The west, the other nations would die of starvation if west didn't exist. I must say that US culture was modeled after England, only with a president, not a king/queen. Are the two really that different? I think that is why we have made such great allies, fighting the evil of the world, that we have the same moral background. Our objectives and hopes are more similar than different. We want peace, health, wealth and progress. Sometimes we get involved in things in retrospect we shouldn't have. But hindsight is 20/20. What we did at the time we thought would result in a more peaceful world. Surely, you don't think we give arms to nations expecting to attack them later? That would be insanity. If we plan to attack them, that would seem to be a bad idea.
Israel - The Israelis attack the Palestinians after they have been attacked. They can't ignore these acts. It would be suicide. In addition, the Israelis go after militants, not civilians like the Palestinians do. The land Israel occupies belonged to Syria, Jordan & Egypt, not Palestine. It was a war where Israel was attacked that they got territorial gains. With that logic, Germany should demand the return of land from the Russians and Poles and French and Danish, and if not, then they should kill civilians until the other powers give in. That would be called war crimes and crimes against humanity if it were any other group than Palestinians. I don't even like calling them Palestinians, they lived in Jordan or whatever, and they should be called Arabs or Middle Easterners. Palestine as a nation has never existed. It was a British mandate after WWI, just a line drawn on a map, like a region such as the Mid West in the US, should we call ourselves Mid Westerners and demand a new country. Israel should give them the opportunity to declare allegiance to Israel, those that refuse should be deported to other Arab nations and those that accept, be given Israeli citizenship. Does that sound fair? Those "detention" camps are run by the Palestine Authority, not Israel. Israel offered to build homes for them, by the Palestinian Authority refused. They want the destruction of Israel not peace, not good lives for their people; they want the death of Israelis. The weapons sold in the case could have been British just as easily, don't forget that.
TIPS - Again we have to agree to disagree. I lost interest in Star Wars after the whole Episode I and that annoying lizard, Jar Jar Binks.
MMR - I’ve never heard of "Private Eye", I assume it is a magazine or TV show? Over here we have the Sun and the Star and National Enquirer, but I prefer to read Science. I differ in opinion; the evidence I've seen says it is safe.
"The MMR-autism theory came to the forefront when, in 1998, Wakefield and colleagues reviewed reports of children with bowel disease and regressive developmental disorders, mostly autism. The researchers suggested that MMR vaccination led to intestinal abnormalities, resulting in impaired intestinal function and developmental regression within 24 hours to a few weeks of vaccination. This hypothesis was based on 12 children. In 9 of the cases, the child's parents or pediatrician speculated that the MMR vaccine had contributed to the behavioral problems of the children in the study. There are a number of limitations in the Wakefield et al. (1998) study:
*The study used too few cases to make any generalizations about the causes of autism; only 12 children were included in the study. Further, the cases were referred to the researchers and may not be a representative sample of cases of autism.
*There were no healthy control children for comparison. As a result, it is difficult to determine whether the bowel changes seen in the 12 children included in the study were similar to changes in normal children, or to determine if the rate of vaccination in autistic children was higher than in the general population.
The study did not identify the time period during which the cases were identified.
*In at least 4 of the 12 cases, behavioral problems appeared before the onset of symptoms of bowel disease; that is, the effect preceded the proposed cause. It is unlikely, therefore, that bowel disease or the MMR vaccine triggered the autism." - NIH WEBSITE
To me the risks of not taking the vaccine seem greater than not taking it, the parents who choose not to should consider the health of the children over their distrust of drug companies, which is where I think this whole thing really comes from.
C-Ya Lata Alligata

NYC said:
*"The rights of minorities in the US ARE greater than in ANY other country. Why, because they are truly equal rights. Every citizen is equal under the law"*
Actually, that is NOT completely true. I don't know the laws of other countries so I can't compare the US laws to them, but I do know that the laws are not equal. There are still gender-biased laws still in effect and enforced in the US. All males are equal under the law but females are not. Men have the freedom to take their shirts off on a hot day and not get arrested. Women do not. The arcane gender-discriminating laws profess that women's nipples and aeriolas are "obscene" "vulgar" and "lewd" while men's are not. Which is completely rediculous. In Europe women may go topless on beaches and the people there don't care. There is nothing obscene about it. Infants and children are not shocked or harmed by women's nipples. I've heard just about all the arguments against women having the same right as men to take their shirts off. All of them are weak and flawed. What it comes down to is a matter of choice. It's like the lawmakers assume that women are not competent enough to make a judgement call on when or when not to remove their shirts. And that is just plain sexist. We critisize the Islamic countries for forcing their women to cover up, but we are guilty of the same thing. (Sorry, this is my pet peeve).
On the flip side, the government allows the establishment of all female institutions but all male institutions are badgered into allowing females. I will say more about this reverse discrimination later.

*"The average American male views women as equals, because they are and any crime like that that is a crime against all."*
Man, I would like to meet this "average American male". It sure would be refreshing. I live in a small town where the men don't give a damn about a woman's opinion. Woman are considered whiny, annoying, and unimportant. My dad had to fight to break the Rotary Club tradition of only allowing males when he got a responsible female not only in the club, but in a position of power. Even now when I try to get something done, people ask me if they can talk to my father or a husband. Like they think that my female brain is too feeble to comprehend or something. My mother gets the same kind of crap. It's very frustrating to be treated that way.

*"The "No Negroes sign" is certainly not in my memory; it is in the memory of a few that wish to undermine this nation. African Americans in this country have more constitutional rights and make a living greater than in ANY OTHER COUNTRY in the world. This is not a myth. I will not defend the treatment that group received in the distant past, because it is indefensible. The situation here, I would state is better than in N. Ireland, where both sides murder each other, because they fight to be separate. Here, were fight to be one."*
I wish that sort of thing were not in my memory. Unfortunately there was and still is much racism where I live. There still exist "white only" neighborhoods. Any "negroes" who move in, have their houses burned down. The people down the street from me are in the KKK. There are no laws specifically against one race here, however caucasians are allowed to get away with more by the police and anyone not caucasian is given a stiffer sentence. I don't know enough about the situation in Ireland to comment but I don't really see alot of people here fighting to be one. But maybe I'm jaded from living in KKK area and seeing segregation firsthand. Even the public school I attended had racist rules. It's sad.

*"The reason I brought up the thought thing is this - we have strong anti-discrimination laws."*
So strong in fact that they have become reverse discrimination. To compensate for the racism, they created unneccessary jobs and have a quota of the number of African Americans in positions of authority. These jobs would be ok, but they are created in the public education system and are sucking away much needed funding that could go toward buying decent books. And only specific minority groups are helped. There are scholarships for African Americans but I have not seen any only for Philipino Americans or other minority groups. Quite frankly I don't care for race-based scholarships bc what if someone is not of one of the groups but really desserves a scholarship for their hard work? The same goes for gender-based scholarships.
Another problem that I mentioned about the US government is that they are phasing out people who know about the field they are working in. They are no longer hiring or promoting white males as much. If you are a white male in the Federal Govt. you can forget getting a promotion unless you suck up to someone in DC. Now almost all of the jobs are going to underqualified females and minorities. Why is it that a man who has been in the service for 30 years and has an excellent record-- rated by personnel as the best supervisor they've ever had-- can't get get a promotion? Jobs he puts in for go to women who have not worked in management who have less than 10 years in the service. This is not just a one time thing. I'm talking putting in for 20 transfers and 19 of them went to females with less than 10 years in the service and 1 went to a young latino male. At a sort of audition for a promotion do you know what my father was told? He was told they thought he was a poor manager because he made decisions on his own and didn't ask all of his underlings what they thought he should do in the situation (a situation that he has dealt with thousands of times over his career and wrote the guidebook on how to handle-- not to mention everywhere he has gone as a supervisor has shown remarkable improvement during the period in which he was in charge). What kind of bulls*** is that? They want someone who doesn't know what they are doing and has to ask people how to do their job? That would not only waste time, but is just plain stupid. If I worked for someone who constantly had to ask me how to handle things I would not only be annoyed, I would think they were an idiot who didn't desserve the job. The tests they are given don't ask them about the laws and have very little to do with the field they are applying for. Instead they have grammar tests akin to the SAT verbal test. They don't have to know the stuff that they really need to know in order to be effective.
The government is currently guilty of age discrimination. My father was told he could not get a promotion to one job without some training. When he asked for the training they told him that it wasn't for "old geezers" like him. Sadly the courts ruled that there is no such thing as age discrimination in the government so his EEO complaint was ignored. Does anyone here want to be 50 years old and be treated like that? 50 isn't even that old! (sorry, another pet peeve).

*"Israel should give them the opportunity to declare allegiance to Israel, those that refuse should be deported to other Arab nations and those that accept, be given Israeli citizenship. Does that sound fair?"*
Well, its not like the Palestinians were even forced out in the first place. What happened was the Arab nations told all Islamic people that they were going to invade Israel and wipe out the Jews (right after Israel was established as a state). They told them to leave on their own so as not to be caught in the attack and killed. So the people who are now the "refugees" left to wait for the Jews to be killed off. Reports from British police in Israel at the time said that the Israeli people tried to talk the people out of leaving. The palestinians were told they would be back home in a day or two. The saddest thing is, the other Arab nations purposely created the Palestinian refugee situation because they wanted to have something to make Israel look bad. It's a political ploy and they are using people to do it. Did you know that while the other nations bemoan the plight of the refugees none of them (save for Jordan) will allow the "refugees" to become citizens or live in their countries? They have counted on the fact that other nations rely on their oil to keep them on their side. And for a long time many places did side with the Arab nations, mostly because they did not want to loose the oil resource-- but also because they were sucessfully fooled by the plan to make Israel look bad. It is truly a sad situation.

*"Those "detention" camps are run by the Palestine Authority, not Israel. Israel offered to build homes for them, by the Palestinian Authority refused. They want the destruction of Israel not peace, not good lives for their people; they want the death of Israelis."*
Exactly! A truly sad situation that people are raised in such hatred.

If TIPS scared/pissed you off....

U.S. Should Consider Giving Military Arrest Powers, Ridge Says
Bloomberg.com | 7/21/02 |


Washington, July 21 (Bloomberg) -- The government should consider reversing a more than a century of tradition and law to give the military authority to make arrests and fire their weapons on U.S. soil in the event of a terrorist attack, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said.
Fears that terrorists might attempt a nuclear, biological or chemical attack on U.S. territory are prompting some lawmakers to support revisions to the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which restricts the use of the military in civilian law enforcement.

``I think it is time to revisit it,'' Senator Joe Biden, a Delaware Democrat, said on the ``Fox News Sunday'' program. That would ``allow for military that has expertise with weapons of mass destruction to be called in'' if such a plot was discovered.

Since terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Congress has given law enforcement agencies more latitude to conduct wiretapping and other intelligence gathering to uncover terrorist plotting. President George W. Bush has proposed the biggest government reorganization in 50 years to put more than 100 offices and agencies into one department devoted to homeland security.

The Bush administration already has taken step to investigate giving the military a larger domestic security role, the New York Times reported today. Air Force General Ralph Eberhart, who is in charge of U.S. defenses against attack, had urged the review, the newspaper said.

Legal Review

Lawyers in the Departments of Justice and Defense are looking into the legal questions that might be raised by greater involvement of military personnel, the Times reported.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in May that the Pentagon would not seek expanded law enforcement powers and some defense officials are wary of making any changes, the Times said.

Congress revised the Posse Comitatus Act in 1981 to allow the military to help the Coast Guard in drug interdiction efforts. Another change would require congressional approval.

Ridge said officials haven't yet discussed giving the military powers to arrest U.S. citizens, though such authority might be discussed once Bush's homeland security department is created.

``Generally that goes against our instincts as a country to empower the military with the ability to arrest,'' Ridge said on ``Late Edition'' on the Cable News Network. ``But it may come up as a part of a discussion. It does not mean that it will ever be used or that the discussion will conclude that it even should be used.''

Unrealistic Limits

Biden said he may revive a proposal he sponsored with former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn to revise the Reconstruction-era limits the Army, Navy, and later the Air Force's law enforcement authorities. That plan was prompted by the bombing of an Oklahoma City federal building by a domestic terrorist.

It is ``not very realistic'' to deny the military the ability, for example, to shoot at suspected terrorists trying to deploy chemical, biological or nuclear weapons on a passenger train, Biden said.

``Right now, when you call in the military, the military would not be allowed to shoot-to-kill, if in fact they were approaching the weapon,'' Biden said.

Still, he said ``we shouldn't go overboard'' by giving the military too many domestic powers.

Ridge said on Fox that the discussion should take place between the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Bush's proposed Homeland Security Department, which has not yet been enacted by Congress.

``We need to be talking about military assets, in anticipation of a crisis event,'' Ridge said. ``And clearly, if you're talking about using the military, then you should have a discussion about Posse Comitatus.''

On another security issue, Ridge said the administration would accept legislation approved by a special congressional committee last week to extend by one year the Dec. 31, 2002 deadline requiring all bags to be screened at airports.

``There is a question, depending on the particular airport, as to the ability to install some of these massive machines between now and the end of the year, and I think this probably gives the new agency a little more flexibility.'' Ridge said.

NYC
Point 1. YOu know, if you want to keep blethering (ie jabbering away at each other), feel free to e-amil me. I think, that the more we "discuss" stuff, the better, and I'm getting a better understanding of other points of view and so on. And you hate JAr JAr Binks. That can't be bad. Although I really do suggest that you see Attack of the Clones, it is a very cool film, stylisticly, plot-wsie and story-wise. I stuck with it because I love Star Wars, and Attack of the Clones is so much better than the Phantom Menace...you even get to see Jar Jar fuck up the Galaxy. All your hatred is justified. That alone makes it worthwhile.
I accept that we should agree to disagree on the Election and TIPS, we obviously don't see eye to eye on those ones, althoug i reckone we can at least see where each of us is coming from, yes?
Although, one thing. I didn't accuyse JEb Bush of influencing the election, I simply put forward the idea that there is someing suspishy about him being the Governor of Florida, the very place where all these problems occured. A suggestion that a possibility of conflicting interest, if you will.

On equal rights, i'll let "Su" do most of my talking, since Su is actually American and has actual experience of the things ive been talking about. However, I would like to mention one Bill Bryson, a travel writer and American by birth, who wrote in the book "The LOst Continent", of going to New York when he was about 10, going to a sandwich bar with his parents, and seeing the way black people were treated (they had to stand and wait for their order, and then eat it outside, rather than inside with all the white people), and he remembers traveling the country and seeing the "sorry, no negros" signs. Since he is still alive, I count that as being within living memory, and since he write very fondly of America, i feel that he may not have an intent of subverting the reputation of the US.

On thought control...I agree with you completely. My gripe was that you were accusing me of saying or implying someing that i had not. I hate thought control, because my religion encourages freedom of thought, and freedom of action as long as one is prepared to accept responsibility and the consequences of such. I DO NOT want to control what people think.

On arming other countries. Come on, you dont need to be a fortune teller to be able to work out that by arming a country like Iraq to the teeth, you are giving them the ability to be very aggressive. Heres a question (just a question, no more, no less), sice Iran was the one who killed your people and stormed your embassy...why did US arm Iraq rather than be more direct? (this, i stress is just a question, just me wanting to expand, my knowledge. there must be a reason for it). Basicly it SEEMS that what happened was US armed Iraq and that Saddam (burn in hell, you fuck)(thats saddam, by the way), used those weapons in a way that backfired on America's plans. My point is, if the US hadn't armed IRAQ, then IRAQ would have had a harder time getting well armed enough to invade Kuwait. Im not saying that they wouldnt have been able to do it, im saying it would have been much more difficult.

Mt St Helens blew its top off. That is NOT a normal occurance for a volcano. And your point on Kyoto...describe for me please what "only noticable" means? Even if a pollutant produced by a smoke stack or car or whatever is only a few parts per million, the build up of these things is still harmful and dangerous. Many of the pollutants that are fucking up this planet either do not degrade or take so long to degrade that it makes no odds. Its the continued build up of these things in our air, water and food that do the damage and make the differance. I dont know too much about CFC's, so I cant argue that point with you, but I do know this. THere ARE holes in the ozone layer.
I quote "Since the aerosol ban, scientists have been measuring the ozone layer. A few years ago, and ozone hole was found above Antarctica, including the area of the South Pole. This hole, which has been appearing each year during the Antarctic winter (our summer), is bigger than the continental United States. More recently, ozone thinning has been found in the stratosphere above the northern half of the United States; the hole extends over Canada and up into the Arctic regions (the area of the North Pole). The hole was first found only in winter and spring, but more recently has continued into summer. Between 1978 and 1991, there was a 4-5 percent loss of ozone in the stratosphere over the United States; this is a significant loss of ozone. Ozone holes have also been found over northern Europe."
I also suggest you read this,
http://www.ciesin.org/TG/OZ/cfcozn.html
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)are non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-reactive with other chemical compounds. So no, thay would not have reacted to other stuff the way you suggest.
The Ice Caps ARE melting.
"For fifty years Antarctica's polar ice cap has been receding at an alarming rate of four feet (120 cm) a day.environmentalists are already convinced that humans are the culprits behind the melting polar ice caps. They have been warning us for years about the adverse effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Climate changes are known to have brought about horrible droughts in some areas and heavy rainfalls causing massive floods in others that have all but wiped out not only the economies of already struggling countries, but also the habitats of many endangered animals."
I, personally, am not sure that an argumument that Blobal Warming isn;t happening, is defesible. This is just my own opinion, but the evidence seems to be too strong to ignore. Whether or not volcanoes have been churning out more pollutants that we humans have, you cannot deny that the constant pollution that has been produced by humans since the industrial revolution has to have had some effect, and that its not going to be a good one.
Its not about your economy, or mine, or some fat fuck who has too much cash and no conscience, its about not shitting where we sleep. This world is our home, its not a litter box and its not here so we can make even more money, a concept we created. If you believe in god the think of it like this. He didnt put us on this world so we could rape it for our own gain.

If the West really was producing food for the entire world, then why are people starving in Africa and other parts of the world? Why is Monsanto trying to patent GM crops that contain terminator genes? If we are really producing the food and making use of that ability to feed the world ( and we could if we wanted too) why havent we?
Because it would cost too much.
Because we spend to much on weapons.
Because capitalism is inherantly greedy.
Because of politics.
Because we forget that THEY ARE HUMAN TOO.

On the International Court. If a Leader tells his men to go an kill, rape and torture a town, of village that belongs to the enemy, and those soldiers do it, then they ARE guilty, just as the leader is. The "we were only following orders" excuse is not treated as acceptable when dealing with NAZI'z, and there is no reason for it being acceptable for anyone else. If the soldeir did the act, hes guilty, and there should be some mechanism in place to prosecute him for that.

Alaska. What happens if theirs an oil spill? What if something goes wrong? What if more oil is discovered. How much damage must be done before it becomes unnacceptable?

"Israelis go after militants, not civilians like the Palestinians do." Tell that to the people who sed to live in Jenin. Tell that to the Red Cross and other organizations who were refused humanitarian access to the town until the Israeli's left, and who reported a cemetary of dead, men, women and children, when they finaly got let in. More than one was unable to enter because of the "Stench of death". All of those dead were militants, were they? Israel offered to build homes for them. They dont want that, they want to go back to the homes THEY built, with their hands. The sci-fi equivalent would be the Maquis. (trivialising, I know, but i dont have THAT much room here.)

Private Eye is a reporting magazine, that exposes the things that private companes, and the British governemnt dont want us to know about, but that we need to know. They're not conspiracy nuts, they only publish what they can defend with solid fact in a court of law. They get sue'ed a lot, but so far I dont think they have ever lost a court battle, because as I say they dont publish want they cant defend. They have exposed a lot of nasty stuff, and their articles have sparked off investigations that have revealed major corruption. As for the MMR thing, Private Eye have released a 30 page pamphet concentrating on it. Interesting FACTS:- Parents have been prevented from refering their kids to Andrew Wakefield. Two studies which supposedly debunk the MMR/autism theory have been shown to be totally unrelated to it. Several children who have autism, inflammed bowels and measles virus in their gut, have been shown to have MMR vaccine in their gut, not wild measles. The Government Health Organization in Britian hounded Wakefield out of the hospital where he worked and refuse to talk to the parents of these children. Wakefield treated several of these autistic kids with a treatment he developed for Crohns Disease (an inflammed bowel disorder) and the syptoms of autism were reduced! The Governemnt, which has a history of sucking up to big business, is insisting that MMR is safe and refusing to talk to these parents or to fund new research, while thiose same big businesses are discontinuing single vaccines. So like it or not, its going to be MMR or nothing.

So there you go. More rambling from muggins here.

Surely ANY responsible person who comes across evidence of terrorist activities already has a method of reporting it - CALL 9-1-1

Even if you don't see the civil liberties implications of this (after all if you've doing nothing wrong, why worry?) why spend the tax payers' money on ANOTHER unnecessary beaurocracy?

Glad you guys still have the right to bear arms - roll on "citizens militia" to round up all the ragheads.

Feeling very smug to be a Briton living in Canada, right now.

>>Tanyak, no offense dude (or dudette), but where the hell were they BEFORE September 11th? Heads need to roll because of September 11th! Sure, they can blame in on the al Qaeda till the cows come home>>

Hey Brian, I think you're "with" me, not "against" me, so no offense taken by this dudette. By saying that I hope TIPS can help prevent another Sept 11, I'm also feeling that something could have been done to prevent Sept 11. But let's face it. Prior to Sept 11, there probably wouldn't have been any support what-so-ever for a TIPS program, because no one could have ever imagined that this would have happened on American soil (yes, even despite the Oklahoma City bombing).
By the way NYC, while we're definitely along the same wave-length on things...I'm Canadian, so I'd have to disagree with you on some of your feelings towards American superiority! :)
Sorry I was late to the party...I went to the soapbox, but no one really seemed to want to talk there. :(
I'm done.


Fluffy said: "If the West really was producing food for the entire world, then why are people starving in Africa and other parts of the world? Why is Monsanto trying to patent GM crops that contain terminator genes? If we are really producing the food and making use of that ability to feed the world ( and we could if we wanted to) why havent we?
Because it would cost too much.
Because we spend to much on weapons.
Because capitalism is inherantly greedy.
Because of politics.
Because we forget that THEY ARE HUMAN TOO."

Well, just because the US may be the largest producer of food does not mean that it is enough to feed everyone. (I don't even know if the US is actually the largest food producer but I'll explain my view assuming that it is).
First and foremost we have to feed ourselves. US citizens are people too. It's not that we are unwilling to feed other countries, it's that we can't.
We don't forget people in other countries are human. In fact, we have sent food in relief efforts. But the problem is, the food is often wittheld from those who really need it by the governments of the countries receiving the food or it is stolen by gangs. Even though the food is sent, we can't guarantee that it makes it to the people who need it. And the few times when we have managed to guarantee it, was with the use of armed troops. Something we have a limited supply of. It's not that we are greedy, it's that there are some heartless bastards who steal food so it doesn't go to those who need it. So we really couldn't feed all the people if we wanted to.
In some respects it does come down to money. See, food although it comes from the ground, costs money to make (duh. I'm pretty sure everyone knows that already eh?). The people who grow the food have to be paid so that they can grow it and provide for their own families. Not to mention that if the US were the sole provider of food it would basically kill the economies of other countries who's major income is from agriculture.
By the way, has anyone seen the movie The Majestic?
luv,
-Su

Hi,

Su - I don't think we disagree here. I especially agree with your point of women and going topless. How about this, women can go topless and men can't! I would vote for that! It would be a way to counteract the years of torturous abuse of forcing women to remain clothed. With a caveat, the women must be under 50 and in accepted weight range. ;>
The KKK is in your neighborhood? I WOULD MOVE!!! Yikes, why would you want to live in that area. Sure there are Klukies, but their numbers are very small, and they are not at all main stream. Like I said, they can think anything they want, but I'm not hangin' out with them. When they start threatining, hurting or using laws unfairly, they need to be jailed.
I agree that reverse discrimination occurs, and that is an issue that needs to be vigorously attacked, what has happened is the pendulum over swung its mark, and is hurting people. Age discrimination is occuring too, and that is in Federal Government you've described is a gross misuse of power. I hope the press will report it. Things like that need to stop. I agree!
In Israel, I was unaware that Jordan was now allowing Palestinians into their country, that is a positive move.

Hey tanyak, That's ok you don't need to think the US is superior, at least not until Canada is the 51st state! lol;>

Ah Fluffy, I'm sorry to hear I'm blathering.
The equal rights thing is overblown, you are reading old stuff. Things have changed, it is good to keep vigiliance, but things are not like they were in the 30's, even Germany has changed, go figure!
HEY WE AGREE on thought!!! I couldn't be happier, but imagine if it became a habit!?
On Iraq and Iran, the Iranians were holding hostiges, we couldn't attack with military force, or they would have been killed. But, Iraq was their sworn enemy and so strange times make strange friends, look at the US and USSR in WWII. Also, Carter, a former president, botched the rescue attempt badly (helicopters we crashing into each other, it was a really big mess), and no one wanted another "Vietnam".
Kyoto, the 'just noticeable' thing means that emissions from factories are 99.995% CO2, carbon dioxide. The air quality in the US is better now than it was in the 1970's, and keeps getting better. In fact the air put out od the stacks is cleaner than the air it is put into.
The ozone holes, no one knows how they got there and they have been measuring them for about 25-30 years, remember earth cycles can take hundreds to millions of years, can you tell me this isn't a natural cycle, and that any interference COULD make the problem WORSE we don't know. Why waste money trying to "fix" a problem that might be natural. More research needs to be done.
The link to CFC's info really didn't say anything different than I have. Apparently the Chlorine in the CFC is "responsible" for ozone depletion. That seems impossible, CFC's are heavier than air, so a process like lightning strikes "break the molecule" releasing Chlorine, but consider this, hydrogen or any other Negatively charged particle would react VERY QUICKLY with the elemental Chlorine. Making HCl or hydrochloric acid, (hydrogen would be split from H20 water molecules not uncommon in a thunderstorm), and perhaps "acid rain", but not contributing to ozone deleption, there might be a REAL cause, and if so I would like it to be found. I would still like to see some stoichiometry, to validate all these spurious claims. NOT ONE ENVIRONMENTALIST I've talked to can give me that information, if they had it I would read it and it might change my mind, but the work is all vapor much like the CFC's themselves.
The "Global Warming" deal, can it be proven that ice at the caps melting is not a natural phenomenon? Again it is fear mongering claims that human "greenhouse gasses" are going to turn Earth into a giant oven and all life will die and so on and so on.. Or they say wow, we are going into an iceage and the Earth will become a giant freezer and all life will die. Blah blah blah. GIVE ME SOME PROOF. Give me the stoichiometry, not guesses. Guesses are fine, they are a start, but I can not as a scientist believe the dogma of global warming without an honest scientifically proven sound framework. As of yet the environmentalists can't give us one. So I just don't buy everything I'm fed, I require a proof.
Not conjecture. Not pseudoscience.
The level of emissions is so small that 'turd' you describe would look like it came from the arse of Amoebae, rather than the natural "pollution" shit out by the arse of the Leviathan Earth every second.
I do believe in God, and I would not put words into His mouth, nor would I dare presume what His intent is for this planet. As a scientist, I don't have to use God to embolden my position, He created this entire universe, I do not doubt for one micro-second, and can end it when He likes. I have not nor will I ever have power over Him to change His plan.
The US is the most generous nation on the planet, we give more food to needy nations than any other country EVER. I have become jaded on what can be done, evil leaders run poor countries. That is why they are poor, the suck off the wealth and leave the people sick and unfed. That is not the fault of the US. We give food, and it rots on the docks. We give food and the other countries evil leaders sell it for cash. It doesn't get to those that need it, because the governments ruling those people don't let them have it. In Somalia we sent food, and warlords shot down American airmen, killing them, and parading their naked bodies through the streets, pumping their fists in the air, and spitting on the dead. WHAT MORE ARE WE TO DO. Destroy every evil leader, then we would be a pariah. Give food that we know would be used to feed the army commiting genocide on the people we are trying to feed. We give and recieve no thanks, but gunfire. It isn't worth feeding those that hate us, I don't want a person bringing food to die. Do you? If they don't want us there, so be it. It is their right to decide their own fate.
As for Monsanto, yeah what bastards they are trying to come up with food that the people in needy nations can grow themselves. GM foods are only evil to people who are untrained in basic biology and genetics. Wouldn't it be aweful to have a carrot that has all the vitamins and minerals a person needs for the whole day. Those greedy bastards wanting to grow better crops so more people can eat. GET REAL. Capitalism is not greedy it is the only method that allows for where demand goes supply. Is it greedy to sell something others need and want? The real greedy are those that run governments, they want OUR money and don't give a care about us, but how they can control and contain us. I support the worker, they need jobs. If no one owned a company, no one would have jobs. We would be like those poor people in the third world, no food, scratching in the dirt hoping for a few sprouts to feed our families. With capitalism goes increases in productivity, in food in other stuff. Why is productivity wrong. Go live in a cave if you hate capitalism, see how well it makes your life run. If you like Communism go to Cuba, if you like Socialism go to France.
The court, yeah America is a bunch of NAZIS, WHAT? More Anti-American bias. The US has a mechanism for war crimes, and it uses it. Soldiers convicted of crimes go to Federal Prision (and they are vigorously prosecuted), and they are not nice places. We don't need or what that damn kangaroo court, leave us out.
Alaska - well with the ice melting and all of mankind dying anyway who cares! Let it spill oil all over, yeah thats what I want. My point is what if, what if, we could what if on anything. Hmm, what if an Elk kills a tiger and then eats through an oil pipe spilling it all over. Well that would be one tough elk to eat!
The Jenin thing - Guess what that "massacre" NEVER happened it made the European press look like fools, I bet maybe that might explain why it was never reported that they were wrong. Yeah, 25-30 militants died, GOOD - get the terrorists. And no, women and children didn't get massacred, it was just another in a long never ending history of Palestinian lies. There was no stench of death, why no massacre. Although Jerusalem has the stench of death now and then when the Palestinians kill babies and school children. I guess that doesn't matter as much as lies.
The MMR, parents in the US can see any doctor they like, no socialized medicine. Maybe the law should be changed in the UK to give parents a choice of doctor? Nah, that would be too much like captitalism, and that is evil. Yes the British Government wants to supress a treatment for Crohns, hmm.. very cleaver, the kids get sick from the vaccine the government forces them to take and the greedy businessman making the vaccine gets richer by NOT treating the bowel disorder. Very cleaver. We need to get Austin Powers on this at ONCE!

shh.. mini me I'm on the computer....

With love,
Dr. Evil -
Um... I mean NYC

NYC
Better run for cover! We agree on something else other than thought! We both HATE Jar Jar Binks! My god, is the world about to end? And I think im beginning to like you. Crikey (i bet you loathe, me, or something)
I said "blethering", not "blathering". Its a British word which usually means to chat, talk about non-mundane stuff, hold a conversation, etc.

As far as arms for Iraq, and so on, I don't think that it is too muc of a clairvoyant leap to determine that when you sell weapons to people, then they will want to use the weapons, in their interests, not yours. Osama Bin LAden (may i see him rot in Hell, so I can point and laugh at the FUCKER), is a case in point. This man was put in place with US help.
The CIA has given millions of dollars in funding to terrorists such as bin Laden,Sadam Hussain,Arafat,Idi Amen,fidel Castro. As the Economist magazine put it, "[U.S.] policies in Afghanistan a decade and more ago helped to create both Osama bin Laden and the fundamentalist Taliban regime that shelters him."
Between 1979 and 1989, "the CIA and Saudi intelligence together pumped in billions of dollars worth of arms and ammunition," according to the Economist. But when the USSR finally withdrew in 1989, the administration of George Bush Sr. turned its back on Afghanistan--leaving it, in the words of the Economist, "awash with weapons, warlords and extreme religious zealotry." OSAMA BIN Laden, a civil engineer and businessman from a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia, was one of the first non-Afghan volunteers to join the mujahadeen. He recruited 4,000 volunteers from his own country and developed close relations with the most radical rebel leaders in Afghanistan. He also worked closely with the CIA raising money from private Saudi citizens. "In 1988, with U.S. knowledge," reports Jane’s Weekly, "Bin Laden created Al-Qaeda (The Base): a conglomerate of quasi independent Islamic terrorist cells spread across at least 26 countries... Washington turned a blind eye to Al-Quaeda, confident that it would not directly impinge on the U.S." "This is an insane instance of the chickens coming home to roost," one U.S. diplomat in Pakistan told the Los Angeles Times. "You can’t plug billions of dollars into an anti-Communist jihad, accept participation from all over the world and ignore the consequences. But we did."
Do you see my point? Arming these psychos and not expectiung them to use those weapons against anyone they want is insane. Its that simple. Its like giving a murderer a sub-machine gun and expecting him to keep the peace for you.

ON CFC's and the Ozone Layer. Ill let the EPA do the talking. They're more qualified than me, (im not a chemist, so I had to go look up stoichometry). Their page explains what happens to CFCs, why the effect the atmoosphere and how we know that CFC's can travel up to the ozone layer. These pages especially...
http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/q_a.html
http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/sc_fact.html
http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/missoz/index.html
Theres even a bit about myths about CFC's, which should help answer your questions on that score. I found the page informative enough to bookmark.

Monsanto. You seriously don't see anything wrong with Terminator genes? Ill explain. These would allow Monsanto (who already hold patents on many types of modifed varieties of wheat and maize), so sell seeds for farmers in Third World Countries. These seeds would be good for ONE crop, and no more. The farmers would have to buy an entirely new batch each year. Since Third World farmers already pay crushing taxes in harsh conditions for various reasons, they would be trapped in a cycle of payments, just to survive. Monsanto's Robert Frayley (President of Ceregen division, 1996) stated "What your seeing is not just a consolidation of seed comapnies, its a consolidation of the entire food chain." These crops are not being produced just to help feed hungry countries, they are being designed to ensure a Western stranglehold on the food that the Third World eats. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-GM, i think that GM crops can be extremely useful, but Terminator genes are putting profit before people.
Capitalism. Come on, you have to admit that Capitalist structures as they stand in the west are exploitative of the Third World (oh, I forgot, its perfectly OK for NIKE to use sweat shops in Nairobi or wherever, at least the poor bastards have jobs, right?). it makes me sick. The national defense budget of the US and Great Britain, for a YEAR, could put more money into helping the poverty stricken, starving Third World than all the charities in the West have in the last 10 years. Hey Rio Fucking Ferdinand is worth £30 Million just because he can kill a ball round a park, while Zimbabwe is beset by food shortages and AIDs. Fucking great, eh? Arent we the coolest? We're so KEEN! Lets pat ourselves on the back, at least we ain't the ones dying.
Whoops sorry, my Liberal Humanitarian tendencies got the better of me there. I must become more insular. they have this thing down south called a "little Englander"...perhaps if I stick my head in the sand...

International Court. Nope, America is not a bunch of NAZI's. re-read my post. What I meant was this...if we try NAZI's for war crimes, even when they say that they were just following orders...then we must try everyone for war crimes who do the same things. Therefore there must be a mechanism in place to do so. That is what the International Court is intended to do. IF an American President orders war crimes, then he would be a war criminal, just as Slobodan Milosevic is. If American Soldiers carried out his orders, then thye would be war criminals too. How would a country that had suffered such crimes gain satifaction, ro recompense from America, in that hypothetical situation? or would it be ok for America to do whatever the hell it liked and no-one could legally do anything about it? Would that be right? Would you want to live in that America?

Alaska. I see im not getting anywhere. HOW MUCH DAMAGE WOULD IT TAKE BEFORE IT BECAME WRONG? One football fields worth?, two? Three? How many species would have to die out? What the hell am I taking about? After all, we're talking about a country that thinks that its perfectly sensible to have power stations slap bang beside the boundary of a national park. Compartmentalised nature. What is it with this "its there, lets exploit it" attitude? Oh ,and while Im really riled up, how about you explain to me why not cutting down on possible pollutants until AFTER we get 100% proof of the damage they do would be bloody stupid? Oh, my it took us ten years to prove this substance rots your tits off, look at how many people suffered because of it. If only we'd stop using the stuff until we'd finished the tests...

AAAAAAAARGH

Sorry, sorry Im getting too angry and unpleasant here. Its something I try not to do, but hey, it happens occasionaly, especially about topics that I feel very strongly about. Sorry.

On Jenin. Ive been researching the thing, and can find a lot of evidence for both side of the story. Hmmm. Still looking.
However, whether it happened or not, it still doesn't invalidate my point .Israel is not blameless in the situation over there. They lie a lot, too, you know. They tend to use gunships on villages and towns, Ive seen the footage. can you tell me that every person they kill is a militant? trully. Every one of them was a suicide bomber? What about the ones who just want to go home. New Scientist recently sent to reporters into the zone, one went to Israel, one to Palistine. Both reported that what they encountered was fear of the enemy. The Israelis were scared of the suicide bombers, and the Palastinians were scared of Israeli tanks and guns. While the reporter on the Palistine side was passing a checkpoint with a number palistinians, the ISraeli soldiers opened fire. No reasons were given.
MY point on the situation is this. Its very complex, and both sides are guilty of terrible things (Ariel Sharon is a possible war criminal - http://www.larouchepub.com/pr/site_packages/2002/sharon/020430sharon_crime_hist.html) towards each other, and that by selling weapons to Israel we in the west are exacerbating the situation. The Arab attitude towards Israel doenst justify what Israel is doing to the Palistinians, who feel marginalised and ignored by the West. We'll aparently happily talk to Sharon (see the above link) but won't talk to Arafat? But I forgot, the only muderers are Palastinian Militants, and Israel never kills innocent people.

MMR. Its not the doctors that are the problem, its that MMR seems to be less safe than the Government claims it to be, but they won't let Parents choose between single jabs or MMR. NO the Government does not want to suppress the treatment for Crohns. Where did you get that idea?
Tell you what, I could scan in my copy of the Private Eye MMR report, it explains the whole thing better than I could.

Right. Im off to cool down. Sorry bout the shouting, but I got really wound up back there for some reason (cant think why, could it be because I keep gettng acused of being a socialist, communist, lefty, pinko liberal enviro freak who hates America and needs to be beaten into submission?) I just want to have an intelligent, calm debate. So ill try to stay less volitile in future.

Sorry.

I know this is an old article but...
First off, as far as neighborhood watch goes, if it's so successful, why exactly do we need this TIPS program? Secondly, I believe most of you are missing the lad's point. This is one more way for our government to tighten its grip on us, and it is getting tighter by the moment. This patriot act was allegedly to catch terrorists. It hasn't caught any terrorists, but it did land Tommy Chong in prison. Tommy has never commited an act of terrorism in his life, and is pushing 60 years old. Does he belong in a prison cell for smoking weed? What does any of this have to do with the war on terror? Nothing. And last of all, To the comment about George W. Bush taking over the government from sinkerhawk. Did he win by a 2/3 majority vote? No, but there he is in the office of the President of the United States. Looks to me like that's exactly what he did. Oh yes, Sarcasm is the sign of an infantile and weak mind.